David Wallace will finally banish memories of his 2003 World Cup misery when he lines up against Namibia in Bordeaux on Sunday.
Wallace was overlooked by Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan for the squad four years ago. The 31-year-old Munster openside was eventually called-up when Alan Quinlan withdrew through injury, but missing the initial cut remained a bitter experience.
However, Wallace, who has overcome the chronic ankle injury suffered in training nine weeks ago to regain the No7 jersey, is ready to make up for lost time. "It was a low point of my career. It was very disappointing. In 1999 I was in touching distance," he said.
"To miss out four years later was hard to take. In 2003 I was coming off the back of a shoulder injury and there were a lot of quality back rows around at the time. Maybe I hadn't proved my form before the World Cup but I'm here this time and what's gone on in the past is in immaterial."
O'Sullivan believes Wallace is "unique" on account of his speed and physique. As the younger brother of Ireland internationals Paul, a prop, and Richard, a winger, Wallace himself claims to have been blessed with the best attributes of both players.Reuse content