After three months on the sidelines Northampton Saints winger Jamie Elliott admits he is making up for lost time following his comeback from injury in last weekend’s Anglo-Welsh Cup win at Newcastle Falcons.
The 24-year-old was Saints’ leading try scorer four years ago, but hadn’t played a minute of action this season after sustaining a shoulder injury in pre-season training that required surgery.
But he came on as a second-half replacement in Sunday’s 24-16 win over Falcons in the Anglo-Welsh Cup and is now raring to go, with Gloucester Rugby at Franklin’s Gardens first up on Saturday.
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Elliott was pleased with Saints’ performance at Kingston Park, as Saints outscored Newcastle two tries to one, but he was also happy just to be back out on the pitch again.
“I’m playing catch up now. I’ve got a point to prove,” he said. “I want to get back out on that pitch and hit the ground running.
“The starting XV place is the main thing for me now, then when things are going your way you get more air time, more game time, and more opportunities come up.
“If you play well, you just want to enjoy it, no targets. If you play well then the points will sort themselves in a game, I don’t need to worry about it.
“It was great to be back out there against Newcastle, I’ve been waiting a long time, 12 or 13 weeks with my injury, so I was very eager to play, however long I got.
“It’s a great feeling to be out there again, with the boys, running about and getting the win in Newcastle. I think only one other team has done that so far.”
Elliott was handed his Saints debut in the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2010, and highlighted the importance of the competition to a club and player’s development.
“It’s important for all the youngsters coming through, and even just for people who haven’t played that much or are coming back from injury,” he added.
“It’s always a great, competitive game. You get a mixture of a team, with the wise heads and the young boys. It mixes it up a little bit and keeps you on your toes, it’s a great competition.
“It also gives you a look at the Welsh boys too, they bring something different to the clubs in England.
“At the end of your career you look back on all those game you play, the friends you made and how many trophies you won.
“That’s what you need. It’s what you’re going to put down on your CV at the end of it, so the Anglo-Welsh Cup is always a great chance of silverware, and hopefully it will go that way for us this season.”
Saints face Gloucester on Saturday with David Humphrey’s side arriving on the back of an impressive comeback victory over reigning Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens in their Anglo-Welsh Cup opener.
Gloucester trailed by 20 points at half-time, but came back to win it 36-32 at Kingsholm and with Saints only just edging part the Cherry & Whites in Round 7 of Aviva Premiership Rugby, Elliott is wary of what Saturday’s opponents are capable of.
“Gloucester are a good side, they chuck the ball around,” he concluded. “They’ve got some quick lads, some slick hands and they’ve got a big pack.
“We showed in the Premiership game that it went right down to the wire and maybe it’s going to be a similar game at the weekend.”
The second round of the Anglo-Welsh Cup kicks off this weekend. For full details of the tournament and tickets for the Final at the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday 19 March see www.new-heroes.com