Injuries rarely occur at a good time for professional sportsmen but as he moves towards a recovery, Gloucester Rugby star Billy Burns believes his knee issue came at a particularly inopportune moment.
Burns, who was at Abbeymead Primary School this week to take part in an Aviva Tackling Numbers session, had been starring for Gloucester at both fly-half and full-back earlier this season.
But he suffered a knee injury that required him to be carried off with oxygen and gas in the closing stages of a 13-10 victory over high-flying Wasps at the start of March.
That Wasps win was their fourth Aviva Premiership Rugby triumph in five games with the lone exception being a battling defeat at the hands of current table-toppers Saracens.
However, since that day the Cherry & Whites have dramatically exited the European Challenge Cup at the hands of Newport Gwent Dragons and went on a run of four straight league defeats – although Friday's win over west country rivals Exeter Chiefs will have given the Kingsholm faithful something to cheer about.
Burns will be out of action until the new season but with just two rounds to go the 21-year-old is not one to be too down for long.
“The injury isn’t too bad – it was a little bit rubbish timing-wise but I didn’t have a bad run this year, so I can’t complain too much,” said Burns.
“I’m rehabbing hard at the moment so I can hopefully get back for preseason and be ready for the new campaign. It’s just one of those things you have to deal with I guess.
“It was definitely frustrating to get injured because I felt like I was in a good vein of form and was enjoying my rugby whether that be at fly-half or full-back.
“I don’t think there is ever a good time to get injured but it wasn’t the best. But I’ve been pretty lucky in my career so far, I’ve not had too many serious injuries, so I’ll get over this one and come back ready to fire next season.”
Aviva Tackling Numbers is an innovative programme for 7-9 year olds which makes learning about numbers and financial education fun and engaging.
The programme is delivered by Aviva Premiership Rugby clubs and Burns joined Gloucester team-mates James Hudson and England star Jonny May at Abbeymead Primary School to take part in the session with the kids.
The former England U20 star admits Gloucester’s poor recent run has been a tough pill to swallow but he is convinced they will bounce back stronger than ever.
“We’ve got a great coaching staff and a great group of players and we know we’re capable of more than that,” added Burns.
“We want to finish the season, put some pride back in the shirt, go out there and play well for the fans.”
Burns was speaking at an Aviva Tackling Numbers session. In partnership with Premiership Rugby, #AvivaTacklingNumbers helps 7-9 year olds put foundations in place for better financial skills later in life through the power of rugby. To find out more and take a maths test, visit aviva.co.uk/tacklingnumbers.