I’ll be back for Tigers clash after concussion, says Warriors skipper

DEAN SCHOFIELD: The veteran second row was an imposing presence against his former side Sale Sharks in Worcester Warriors’ defeat in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

DEAN SCHOFIELD: The veteran second row was an imposing presence against his former side Sale Sharks in Worcester Warriors’ defeat in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

First published in Sport

I AM finally feeling better now after the concussion I suffered at Gloucester before Christmas and will be stepping up my training this week.

I’m not sure I’ll be ready in time for Saturday’s Amlin Challenge Cup game with Oyonnax at Sixways, but I will definitely be back for the following game against Leicester in the Aviva Premiership.

I have had a number of similar knocks during my career and, even when I have been knocked out on the field, I have usually been OK again within a day or two. So this time it has been strange and a bit of a concern to still have sickness and headaches several weeks later.

However, I went to see a neurologist and he said that it was just concussion and there is no long-term damage to worry about, but it does seem like a long time since I last played.

Concussion is something that has always been a bit of a taboo in rugby, because as players you naturally want to get back on the field as soon as possible, as do the coaches.

The subject has not been given enough care in the past and the brain is such a delicate area — you can’t be messing around with people’s lives.

Rugby players are proud people and want to be back out playing.

The way the Worcester Warriors staff have looked after me has been outstanding and I cannot speak highly enough of them.

The protocols that have been introduced about players going back onto the field are moving in the right direction and I know I am now in a place where I feel comfortable about stepping my training back up day by day — it has been really well managed.

I have watched the Amlin Challenge Cup match at Sale back now and I thought Josh Watkins had an outstanding game. Considering he is so young and has little experience, I though he was excellent and is a real prospect for the future.

Sometimes the old guard go unnoticed in games, but I felt Dean Schofield was a real handful and he was massive for the team.

The front five in general was a massive plus for us with their work in the set-piece.

Clearly our number one priority remains the Premiership, but we face Oyonnax on Saturday and it will again give some of the youngsters an opportunity.

We had some positives from the game at Sale, but one of the major negatives was our first-up tackling in the back line, which was too soft — that has been a big area to work on for us this week.

However, our goal this weekend has to be getting that win — you can dress it up however you like, but the bottom line is that we haven’t won for a long time and we are determined to change that on Saturday.

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