Ryan: I was right to reject Saints move
Ireland lock Donnacha Ryan believes his man-of-the-match display against Scotland proves he made the correct decision in rejecting a move to Northampton.
The RBS 6 Nations player of the tournament nominee gave serious consideration to joining the Aviva Premiership club in 2007 but the inevitable impact a move overseas would have on his international prospects compelled him to stay at Munster.
The 28-year-old's loyalty is now being rewarded with a run in the national side, and he said: "I'd be lying if I said I didn't contemplate moving, but I'm glad now that I didn't. There'd be days when you'd be tearing your hair out that you didn't move, but now after starting for your country, I'm thrilled to bits."
He added: "What made up made up mind was the impact going abroad would have on my international opportunities."
Frustrated by his lack of opportunity five years ago at Munster, he felt he needed to escape the shadow of Lions second rows Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan.
"I went to Northampton and met (coach) Dorian West and (director of rugby) Jim Mallinder. They were lovely people and it was a great club," he said.
"The first thing they asked me to do was to go on the weighing scales because on Munster's website my weight was 89kg! You're not much of second row if you weigh 89kg!
"It was obviously a frustrating time because all I wanted to do was play.
"But I changed tack, moved into the back row and I learned a lot there."