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O'Donnell is over World Cup pain

By David Kelly

Tommy O'Donnell has learned the hard way that the perils of the future are soon enough pitted deep in untroubled memory.

Life's lessons have tamed the Munster ace but he has resolutely refused them re-ad­mission as burdens. This is a man whose World Cup hopes were shattered.

"You can't hang on to these things," he said.

When he was floored in screaming agony on the Cardiff turf, two Welshmen unwittingly dislocating his hip as they fell upon him, his muscles prevented any attempts to re-locate his hip.

And so the body he had spent weeks honing for the biggest moment of his career was now the very thing which was preventing him escaping the pain.

And so he called around to his friends and sat, as comfortably as someone with a dislocated hip can manage, on the couch.

And he watched Ireland's World Cup enterprise founder. All this is now in his rear-view mirror.

O'Donnell is 28, and missing the World Cup coincided with his contract running out at his current employers.

"If you dwell on the past, then you're going to be stuck there," he said.

"Is missing the World Cup a source of regret? For me, no. Not at all. Be­cause of the nature of the injury and everything like that, I made peace with it.

"It comes from how we should be as players. If you make a mistake in a match then you need to move on. If something happens like that, a big moment or an injury, you need to move on.

"I think that's how you have to go about your career and that's how you keep setting goals for yourself."

Some might misinterpret the ac­ceptance of his World Cup fate, all the absence of regret, and assume it is tinged with a huge dollop of relief. Not so.

"No, I think the lads learned a lot. No matter how the World Cup went, I think it would have better to have been involved in it and to learn from that experience," he added.

Belfast Telegraph


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