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Do I want to start on Sunday? Yeah, me and 30,000 other Cork hurlers

Paudie O’Sullivan will seize whatever chance he gets in Sunday’s Munster SHC final.

O'Sullivan missed all of last summer's Championship and this year's league campaign as he recovered from a broken leg.
O'Sullivan missed all of last summer's Championship and this year's league campaign as he recovered from a broken leg.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

PAUDIE O’SULLIVAN IS ready to put his injury hell behind him and make Páirc Uí Chaoimh dreams come true one last time.

If he gets his chance, that is.

A metal plate in his left leg is the only lasting reminder of the horrific break which ruled the Cork forward out of inter-county action for a full year.

Now that he’s back in the fold, he is desperate to make his mark in Sunday’s Munster hurling final against Limerick.

Rebel boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy is due to name his team tonight and O’Sullivan, who came off the bench against both Waterford and Clare, knows that he is an outside bet for a place in the starting XV.

He said: “I think at this stage I’m probably as close to 100 per cent as I can be, bar a small bit of sharpness and everything else. And hopefully that will come in time.”

So does he want to start?

“Me and 30,000 other Cork hurlers, especially the 30 fellas on the panel!

“Obviously you play to be starting on the 1-15 but I know myself over the last few weeks I certainly haven’t been ready to do that. There is certainly no resentment from me towards management or any of the other players.

“The lads there are flying and my job now if I’m called upon on Sunday is to try and come on and get a few scores like all the subs.

Jimmy is always stressing to every fella that if you come on you have to try and make an impact, to help the team rather than yourself. If that happens for me on Sunday against Limerick, hopefully that’s something I’ll be able to do for the lads.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

O’Sullivan — who was sitting on the sideline when older brother Diarmuid fired over his classic point against Limerick in 2001 — knows how much it would mean to sign off with a Munster title in the final game before Páirc Uí Chaoimh is redeveloped.

But after coming through a year of frustration and torment, even the smallest things are there to be savoured now.

“It was probably something I’d taken for granted up until then. It was a case of go down, do your training, play your Munster Championship. I think it really put it into perspective how lucky I was, when I wasn’t able to do it.

“Sitting on the sideline watching the lads is a tough place to be, knowing that you can have absolutely no involvement, knowing that you can do nothing about it. It’s probably given me more appreciation of what this year is going to be like.

“In a way, it probably brings back your childhood in a way. All you want to do is be back out hurling.

“This time last year, I’d have done absolutely anything to go out and play a game of hurling, football, training. It really takes you back and you appreciate it more when you get it back.”

Páirc Uí Chaoimh capacity boosted ahead of Munster hurling final

The glory of ’96 and ’01 in De Páirc – Limerick captain hopes for repeat next Sunday

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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