Alan Quinlan will be looking for the perfect send-off at the end of his remarkable 15 year Munster career by helping his side claim Grand Final glory.
Last year’s inaugural Grand Final saw 38-year-old New Zealand international Filo Tiatia end his career on a high by helping the Ospreys beat Leinster at the RDS and now Quinlan is hoping to follow suit.
The 36-year-old Irish international has amassed an amazing 210 appearances for Munster since making his debut back in 1996 and more than 100 of those have come in the Magners League.
“Personally, I am going to work as hard as I can in these remaining weeks. I have a lot of pride in myself, but I am pretty honest and all I can do is help the team in whatever way I can whether I am picked or not,” said Quinlan.
“I’ve felt the pain that everybody in Munster has felt by not qualifying for the Heineken Cup. It has been difficult and it is something we have had to get our heads around as a group,” said Quinlan.
“But there are still two trophies to play for. It is important that everyone in the squad works hard to try to achieve our goals, which are to win the Amlin Challenge Cup and the Magners League Grand Final.”
‘Quinny’ has been at the heart of everything Munster have achieved in the professional career and figured in their Magners League debut against Edinburgh at Myreside on 17 August, 2001.
At the end of that season he was in the side that lost to Leinster in the Celtic League final at Lansdowne Road, but bounced back to score a try in the 37-17 demolition of Neath at the Millennium Stadium in the second Celtic League final.
He suffered the heartbreak of losing to Leicester Tigers in the 2002 Heineken Cup final, but returned to reap revenge in the Welsh capital against Biarritz Olympique in 2006 and was then named as Man of the Match in the 2008 final triumph over Toulouse.
He also played 12 games as Munster marched to the 2009 Magners League title and is now hoping to add another Magners winners’ medal to his collection before bowing out from the game he has graced for the past decade and a half.
“Alan has been an integral part of the success of Munster Rugby for the past 15 years and his longevity in what is a highly attritional profession is a tribute to his dedication, application and durability,” said Munster head coach Tony McGahan.
“He has always been a players’ player whose impact in big games, and ability to turn a negative situation into a positive action, makes him a great player to have on your side and a crowd favorite.
“His decision to call it a day at the end of this season of course evokes a sense of poignancy for all of us who have worked with him, but it's balanced by the knowledge that he can look back on a great career with pride at what he's achieved.”