Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gomarsall Eyes Up Dream Return

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gomarsall Eyes Up Dream Return

Article excerpt


World Cup winner Andy Gomarsall could make a remarkable return to England Test duty next week ( a year after his rugby career seemed destined for the scrapheap, writes ANDREW BALDOCK.

Gomarsall has already recorded one major triumph over adversity this season, so a demanding two-Test tour of South Africa should not cause any sleepless nights.

The 32-year-old faced a gloomy future after his stint with Guinness Premiership club Worcester came to a shuddering halt last May.

Gomarsall, despite still being under contract at Sixways, claims he was told to go by the Warriors after failing to meet their playing requirements. It all left him contemplating the next stop on his 10-year journey as a rugby professional ( possible oblivion.

Gomarsall's summer of discontent was brightened by his wife Francesca giving birth to twins, but offers of employment hardly rolled in, despite the scrum-half firing off his CV in all directions. He said: "Every sort of emotion went through my mind ( including not playing again. I had a knee injury at the end of last season and every sort of emotion goes through your head. I had to start thinking on a short-term basis."

Worcester's Premiership rivals Harlequins then offered him a nine-month deal, and a career at the Twickenham Stoop that began with a reserve team game on an autumnal Monday night has snowballed to such an extent that he recently signed a two-year contract.

Gomarsall said: "To be involved with England again was a distant dream last summer. I have had the opportunity with Quins, which I am exceptionally grateful for, and it has got me back into the England squad.

"I didn't think I would get an opportunity straight away at Quins, but Steve So'oialo broke his hand, which meant I was involved pretty much immediately, and it has just gone from there. …

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