Hooker Ed Shervington returned to action in the Welsh Premiership on Saturday after spending more than four months sidelined through injury.
The 24 year-old suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during the penultimate fixture of last season, the 34-23 win over Glasgow at the Liberty Stadium, and underwent surgery over the summer to repair the damage. After recuperating over the summer months, he enjoyed his first run-out coming off the bench for Neath against Ebbw Vale at the weekend, and he says that he just feels good to be back ahead of schedule:
“I’m really pleased to be back ahead of schedule. Originally I was told I was looking at six or seven months out, but I’m back in four and half so I’m really happy to be playing again and just looking forward to being in the mix again.
“I’ve worked pretty hard with Chris Towers and the other Physios, who’ve been great with me, as well as the conditioning team, and I’ve generally had a positive mental attitude to things, which has probably helped.
“I suppose if I’m going to have a long injury lay-off, it’s probably better to have it when I did. I haven’t really missed that much rugby because of the summer break, just two games at the end of the season, and three weekends this season. I just went back home to the farm over the summer, got my head down and kept trained pretty much all the way through, to make sure that I stayed on target to be back playing as soon as possible.”
Shervington has made 26 Ospreys appearances since his debut against Ulster in September 2006, with just five starts to his credit. Having been named in the region’s Heineken Cup squad recently, he is keen to add to both totals, but realises that with Welsh internationals Huw Bennett and Richard Hibbard in front of him, he needs to be on top of his game if he is to make an impact this season. He said:
“It was always going to be a big season for me, with Scott Johnson coming in, so I was gutted when I got injured as I thought I might be out until the end of the year, and that would have been a big chunk of the season gone before I’d had any chance to show what I can do. I’m taking every day as it comes at the moment. The first goal was to get through the Neath game at the weekend, now I’ve got to concentrate on building up my fitness, making an impression in training, and playing well when I get game time, for Neath or the Ospreys. I’ve not had much chance to impress Johnno, just a couple of games at the back end of last season so I’ve got a lot of work to do there. I’ve got to forget about the injury, put that behind me, and really work hard to show him what I can do.
“The target is obviously to play more regularly for the Ospreys this season, and to get a few more starts, but I know that there are two very good hookers in front of me and realise that it’s going to be tough. It’s a long season though, and there are plenty of games to be played and no-one can be involved in every game, so if I put the work in on the training pitch, hopefully I’ll get my chances.”