He had his first taste of competitive rugby in more than seven months at the weekend, in the green and white of Tonmawr, and now Barry Davies is looking forward to stepping up his return from injury over the coming weeks.
The fullback has been sidelined for most of the last 11 months after a suffering a damaged tendon in the groin, with a just a solitary outing for the Ospreys at Murrayfield against Edinburgh during 2010.
He made his long awaited comeback as a second half replacement in Tonmawr’s Premiership win over Cross Keys at Pandy Park last Saturday, and with no obvious after effects, he says he’s pleased with how it went:
“It’s good to get back into it. I was a bit apprehensive before last weekend, thinking about how it was going to go, but I was quite pleased to get 40 minutes under my belt. I managed a few runs, I did all right I think.
“I was a bit sore afterwards but that’s only to be expected. It’s a progressive thing now, I need to build on that and I’ll get stronger with more time on the pitch.
“I don’t think I’m out of the woods yet, but it’s good that I’ve been able to play some sort of rugby again, at a reasonable intensity. I’m just looking forward now to hopefully stepping up for the region over the next few weeks if I get the chance.”
Having already endured one abortive comeback, Davies admits that the mental barrier was almost as big a challenge as the physical one as he returned to action:
“There is a psychological edge to it, it does play on your mind when you’ve been out so long. If anyone tells you different then they are lying. The physios have told me that it’s strong. The scans have proven that everything has been reattached successfully and you put your trust in their judgement.
“It’s now just about the pain element with the scar tissue, and the fact that everything needs to be broken in again. It’s just about getting through that, and like I said, you do worry about it but you trust the medical people to get you back to where you were before.”
With his first steps on the road back to regular rugby now behind him Davies has his eye on game time with the Ospreys over the next month while the international contingent are away. He says that he won’t lack motivation in the coming weeks, with a desire to repay the faith that the Ospreys have in him:
“Totally. They’ve been great to me in terms of support through my injury. It hasn’t been a nice experience, but they’ve invested time and money in getting me back to health and when I am back to 100 per cent I really want to give something back to the board and everyone who’s looked after me and cared for me while I’ve had this injury. Hopefully, I can repay everyone over the next few months.”