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Dave Kilcoyne delighted to be back in green after worst injury he’s had

Dave Kilcoyne

Dave Kilcoyne is delighted to be back playing for Ireland after fearing he would never fully recover from a neck injury he suffered last year.

The experienced Munster prop was a late inclusion on the Irish bench last weekend as Cian Healy was ruled out due to injury, and Kilcoyne is set to win his 50th cap this Saturday against France.

Having missed out on Ireland’s tour of New Zealand and the Autumn Nations Series, due to a lengthy recovery from a neck injury he suffered last March, Kilcoyne was on the outside looking in for quite some time.

Now back in the green of Ireland, Kilcoyne stressed just how grateful he is to be playing an important role for his country again.

Dave Kilcoyne on being back in the Irish camp.

“I had a bad injury at the end of that Six Nations. I had to get two discs shaved in my neck. You’re out for a considerable time and you’re looking on and seeing what the team is building and what Faz has built here,” Kilcoyne explained.

“I was chatting to Pete [O’Mahony] the other day at dinner and we were just saying that obviously everyone talks about how good of an environment it is here and it’s not rubbish, it actually is a really enjoyable place to be.

“It comes from the top down. Faz has got great people in and it filters down to the players. It’s such a good place to come in and get better every day. As I said, I wasn’t involved, I was watching on and you’re desperate to get back in.”

‘It was the worst injury I ever had.’

There were times that Kilcoyne believed that he would never fully recover from his neck injury, as it took a long time for him to regain strength in one of his hands.

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for Kilcoyne to get back to his best when that strength did return, which he has proven with his international recall.

“I was hoping but I had belief. I had massive belief in myself that I would get back in if I could get back fit,” Kilcoyne said.

“It was the worst injury I ever had. I lost power down my hand through getting those discs shaved and it was unnerving at times wondering if the power would ever come back.

“I had a couple of months with the great strength and conditioning and rehab coaches down in Munster and it just wasn’t coming, then all of a sudden it came.

“Once I saw a bit of light I went with it and I just built myself back up and worked away to try to get back in. I’m feeling very fortunate to be in here.”

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