With a man of the match performance against Australia under his belt all the way back in 2010, Ireland and Munster fans would have been expecting Ian Nagle to be in a different place than he currently is in 2015. Munster's win over the Wallabies on that windy evening in Limerick could have been the springboard for Nagle to make a move for a regular Munster starting spot and a place in the Ireland squad. It hasn't quite worked out like that.
The big second row had the understandable worry of trying to get past Paul O'Connell, Donncha O'Callaghan and Donnacha Ryan in the pecking order. He plugged away and was rewarded for his efforts with regular appearances but things stagnated a little bit and when the opportunity to move to Newcastle on loan came about in 2014, Nagle took the chance.
Injuries took their toll in the north east of England and in April of 2014, Nagle decided to take an extended break from the game to concentrate on other pursuits. Nagle has done rather well for himself in the intervening period. He was accepted into Cambridge University's MBA course and he's keeping up his fitness by playing rugby for the university team alongside Welsh centre Jamie Roberts. But now he's ready to return.
Declan Rooney is reporting in today's Independent that Nagle is readying a return to the professional game when the college year comes to an end. Munster would be an obvious destination, particularly now that O'Connell and O'Callaghan have moved on, but Leinster and Ulster are also thought to be interested.
As is the trend at the moment, Nagle will also have some interest from the Aviva Premiership with London Irish and Worcester Warriors mentioned as possible destinations. The 27 year old played for the Emerging Ireland side as recently as 2013. With a surprising return to the professional game looking likely, it would certainly be great to see him push for full international honours not long after it seemed like his rugby career had come to an premature end.