Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Hooray Henry! ; Sale's Luckless Prop Tells Neil Leigh He's Glad to Put 2012 Behind Him

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Hooray Henry! ; Sale's Luckless Prop Tells Neil Leigh He's Glad to Put 2012 Behind Him

Article excerpt

AFTER enduring the worst 12 months of his fledgling career, England hopeful Henry Thomas is ready to make up for lost time by playing his part as Sale look to mount a Premiership survival special.

The promising tight-head prop has handed the Sharks a massive boost by recovering from ankle surgery far quicker than envisaged and is poised to return at the end of the month.

The 21-year-old has been sorely missed since damaging ligaments playing for Sale's Jets team last September.

That injury came on top of separate knee problems and an awful year injury-wise was eclipsed by the tragic deaths of his close friends and former Sale colleagues Selorm Kuadey and David Tait.

Small wonder then that Thomas, who was last week called up into the England Saxons squad, is desperate to put the past behind him and kick on for club and country.

"Everything has gone as well as it can go really," Thomas revealed.

"I've had to work pretty hard in rehab since the operation but now I'm looking to get back for our LV Cup game away at Wasps at the start of February. The idea is to get some time off the bench there and then kick on and be in contention for our league game at home to Exeter the following week.

"It's massively ahead of schedule. Originally after the operation I was looking at mid-March, so it's seven weeks earlier.

"Looking back, 2012 was a pretty bad year for me on all fronts. As well as what happened injury wise I lost two very close friends as well in Selorm and David.

"So, hopefully, 2013 can be my year.

I want to try to stay fit and help Sale to stay up in the Premiership.

"It's been so tough watching the lads play from the sidelines and not to be able to put your all in to helping the situation.

"Now I'm hoping that I can come in a bit like a fresh face with new ideas and I haven't got the negativity for want of a better word that you have when you are losing most of the time.

"I'm coming in not scarred by the first half of the season and with a fresh pair of legs as well. Six months solid rugby does take its toll.

"Hopefully, I can help lift some of the guys and, most important of all, help us to get some wins."

Before his own annus horribilis, the former Millfield School pupil was on the cusp of being fast-tracked into the senior England squad such was his immediate impact with Sale. …

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