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Diarmuid Barron back with a bang and buzzing for Glasgow battle

When Diarmuid Barron limped off the field just seven minutes into Munster's Christmas derby against Leinster he had the dreaded feeling that his season was over.

Back in December the province had a long injury list but the hooker had started eight games and was held in high enough regard by boss Graham Rowntree to captain the side.

A scrum collapsed in the lashing rain at Thomond Park; Barron got some treatment for a foot injury and tried to play on but following a tackle on Joe McCarthy in the next play, was forced to retire.

Surgery followed soon afterwards, and a long period of rehabilitation ultimately led to the Tipperary man (below) making his return as a replacement in Friday’s URC quarter-final win over Ospreys.

"I was tired enough come the last five or 10 minutes but it was good, it was great," he said of his first game back.

It’s incredibly enjoyable to get back out there. I’ve been pretty lucky in terms of the long-term injuries, I’ve had very little of them and when you do get one you realise how lucky you are to be playing and to come straight back into a quarter-final was extra special."

Such was the nature of the injury that there was no guarantee that the 25-year-old would feature again this season.

But Munster’s now-ten-game winning run meant he would get his shot.

"I thought my season was done, to be honest," said Barron (above), who toured with Emerging Ireland in South Africa two years ago.

"It’s an injury you don’t mess around with, as well, so I’ve been told a lot, but then as I was progressing you can see light at the end of the tunnel.

"You’ve no option but to accept it. It would have been six weeks non-weight-bearing, so that’s keep the foot up, just crutching around the place.

"There is peaks and troughs,