The combative and workman-like Alan Quinlan has bravely fought his way back into the Ireland squad after suffering a number of injury blows.
A cruciate ligament injury to his right knee meant the 2005/06 season was almost completely a write-off but the Tipperary man, who began his rugby with the Clanwilliam club, worked his way back to full fitness and, in May 2006, won both the AIB League Division title with Shannon and the Heineken Cup with Munster.
Since dislocating his shoulder at the 2003 World Cup, he has played just six more times for Ireland. His Test career to date will be most remembered for the try he scored in the crucial pool win over Argentina at the 2003 tournament – he scored a total of three tries at that World Cup before his untimely injury.
Educated at Abbey CBS in Tipperary, Quinlan earned representative honours with the Ireland Youths and ‘A’ team – he was a regular for the latter between 1998 and 2001. He made his senior debut at the 1999 World Cup as a replacement against Romania, and made his Six Nations bow against Italy in 2001.