AARON Shingler made his first Scarlets appearance in more than a year when they took on Munster in Friday’s PRO14 clash in Limerick.

The 33-year-old, an ex-pupil at Pontarddulais Comprehensive School, had not played since coming off the bench for Wales against England in March 2020.

The highly-regarded flanker had last featured for the Welsh region at Thomond Park in February 2020.

He was sidelined with an inflammatory health issue last summer, and has been working back to full fitness since.

Shingler came in for Uzair Cassiem at blindside flanker, for his 190th appearance in a Scarlets jersey.

“Shings being available is great news, he trained really well to get in the mix for selection,” said head coach Glenn Delaney.

“He has had an incredibly tough eight months or so, a very different type of injury, a medical situation and something quite atypical really.

"Firstly, it was about getting the right medical advice and getting the treatment to solve the problem, which we managed to do, the experts were fabulous.

"Then it was about getting him off the medication that was controlling it to try and wean him back so that his body started responding.

"The third part of it was a full reconditioning pre-season so he is actually back to being a rugby player.

“Aaron is quite straight and direct and when he is ready to go he tells you, he is pretty clear on that and he brings that no-nonsense approach to his rugby.

"It is great to have him back in the mix.”

The Irish province produced a clinical display to claim a 28-10 bonus-point victory, but it was a welcome return for the international flanker.

Inspired by returning international fly-half Joey Carbery, Munster took a grip of proceedings in the first half to lead 21-3 at the interval.

Scarlets started brightly with scrum-half Dane Blacker scything through, but the attack broke down with a spilled ball and the rest of the half belonged to Munster.

After laying siege to the visitors’ line, the hosts got their reward when No. 8 Gavin Coombes ploughed over from close range for a try, which was converted by Carbery.

Scarlets responded with a penalty from the boot of Angus O’Brien, but moments later Munster were celebrating their second try after player of the match Carbery sliced open the Scarlets defence before feeding wing Shane Daly for the score.

Referee Sean Gallagher checked with the TMO for potential obstruction in the build-up, but the try stood, with Carbery converting.

Scarlets found themselves down to 14 men just before half-time when Aaron Shingler - who had showed up well in his comeback match - was yellow carded for a line-out infringement.

The result was a third Munster try through hooker Niall Scannell, who touched down at the back of a relentless driving maul.

Scarlets needed a positive start to the second period, but it was Munster who maintained their control and after replacement Tevita Ratuva was binned for another offence around the line-out drive, Munster got their bonus-point through replacement hooker Kevin O’Byrne.

In deteriorating conditions, the match lost its shape in the final quarter, but Scarlets did manage a late score when Steff Evans combined with Sam Lousi out wide for a try, converted by O’Brien.

For Scarlets, with one match to go at home to Connacht a week on Monday, there is still work to do to secure Champions Cup qualification.