Declan Danaher’s chance to heal Scarlets scarsBy Alan Manicom
October 16, 2009
Declan Danaher is delighted to have the chance to make up for his nightmare appearance against Scarlets three years ago.
The London Irish back-row forward has been a driving force behind the club’s superb start to this season.
And Exiles are red-hot favourites to secure their sixth straight victory at Madejski Stadium tomorrow (3pm kick-off).
But Danaher still shudders at the thought of the last time he and his team-mates came up against their Llanelli-based opponents in the Heineken Cup.
Irish’s injury-ravaged squad went down 32-25 at home to Scarlets, and Danaher recalls: “It was a Friday night and I was just coming back from injury.
“I played 50 minutes and I managed to get myself sinbinned, which I do remember.
“Then I got quite a bad injury a couple of days later.
“We let ourselves down badly in that campaign and hopefully we can make up for that now.”
London Irish got this season’s European campaign off to a flying start with a 12-9 win at holders Leinster last Friday
And Danaher, whose parents are originally from Munster, said: “Leinster had beaten Munster the previous week, so my close relatives were pretty pleased to see us beat Leinster.
“My dad and my brother and a couple of friends came over for the game and had a great time.”
Danaher, who was born in London and will be 29 next month, ended any chance of an international career with Ireland when he played for England A in 2002.
Although he is no nearer winning a full cap, Danaher said: “I never regret any decisions I have made. I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t made the decisions I have. I love playing for London Irish. That is what comes first for me.
“It is always an ambition of mine to get in the England squad, though.
“It is great that guys like Nick Kennedy, Delon Armitage, Steffon Armitage and Paul Hodgson are in the squad. They are your mates and you want to play with them week in, week out, especially at the top level.”
Danaher is the longest-serving player currently at London Irish and he added: “This is the best group of players, the best squad we have had since I’ve been here.
“It has been developing and getting better every year.”