Kilcoyne goes through pain barrier for Ireland return

Limerick's Dave Kilcoyne.

DAVE Kilcoyne’s return to international rugby for Ireland’s Six Nations victory over Wales after a near year-long absence through injury is quite remarkable.

Around this time 12 months ago, he sustained a serious neck injury that required two spinal discs to be shaved.

“It was the worst injury I’ve ever had. I lost power down my hand by getting those discs shaved and it was unnerving at times, wondering would the power ever come back,” he told reporters earlier this week.

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

“Once I saw a bit of light I went with it and built myself back up and worked away to try get back in. So I’m feeling very fortunate to be in here. The saying, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone, that really resonates with me now.

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Added the 34-year-old: “You’re out of the environment through injury or selection or whatever, then when you get the second crack at it to get back in, you want to take it with both hands and make sure you’re in here as long as you can be.”

Kilcoyne, nicknamed ‘Killer,’ is in line to win his 50th cap against France at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.