Rugby World Cup 2011
Wallace absolves Tuilagi of any blame
ESPNscrum Staff
September 4, 2011
Ireland flanker David Wallace is tackled by Manu Tuilagi, Ireland v England, Rugby World Cup Warm-up Test, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, August 27, 2011
David Wallace suffered a knee injury after being hit hard by Manu Tuilagi during last week's game in Dublin © Getty Images

Ireland flanker David Wallace insists that he harbours no ill feeling towards England's Manu Tuilagi for the challenge which dashed his World Cup hopes.

Wallace was left in a crumpled heap on the touchline, clutching at the grass in agony, after being levelled by Tuilagi midway through the first half of Ireland's defeat by England at the Aviva Stadium last weekend. The knee ligament damage suffered by Wallace has ruled him out of action for six months, a devastating blow for the 35-year-old Munster back-row. However, the former British & Irish Lion does not believe that Tuilagi is to blame for his career-threatening injury.

"It was just awkward, the way I fell, the way I planted my foot at the same time, the way my studs took the ground or whatever. It was just one of those things," Wallace told the Sunday Independent. "He's a big guy, a lot of force hitting you side on and that's something you don't normally get. Our combined weights probably did the damage."

Wallace also revealed that he has already come to terms with the agony of missing out on representing his country in a World Cup one final time and is now looking to the future.

"Once I figured out what this meant, the different scenarios that might play out and I had in my mind what might happen, then I found it easier to deal with. I think the first few days, I won't say they were dark, but they were definitely tough," he said. "Saturday night especially was a difficult place to be. It was extremely intense but you can't continue with that forever.

"Everything was in flux, the carpet was ripped out from beneath you. The worst thing is that you don't know. You're just trying to gather information and make sense of it. I was probably quite negative in certain ways, thinking this was it, but since then I've gotten more positive about it. No matter what way it goes, I think that if I remain positive it'll do wonders for me.

Indeed, Wallace is in no doubt that he will make a full recovery and go on to enjoy a successful season with club and country.

"I certainly don't feel old on the pitch," he said. "I don't feel old in the gym. I don't feel old on the sprint track. I was very excited going into this World Cup the way things were going for me. And if I feel this good in August I can't see why I won't feel the same in December or January. I'm not sure if I'll be there as early as that but you have to be positive.

"I look at it as a challenge. And in a weird way I'm looking forward to it. It's not where you want to be but you have to embrace it as best you can. The more I think about it, the fact that I'm 35 is even motivating me more to get back."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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