Continuing his rehab from an MCL injury, Joe Simpson is nearing his return to play at the perfect time, as England begin to look ahead to the Rugby World Cup.
In brilliant form for Wasps, Joe Simpson looked set for an England re-call, before an MCL injury in the penultimate game of the season against Leicester Tigers created a set-back to overcome.
However, after working closely with the Wasps’ medical team over the summer, Simpson took part in his first running session last Friday and is set for a full return to training in the coming weeks as both Wasps and England commence their preseason training.
During an exciting time for any English-qualified player, Simpson says he is delighted to be fit enough to throw his hat in the ring ahead of the upcoming World Cup.
"I only missed one match, the last game of the season, and that is a real positive. I knew that if everything went to plan and I worked hard with the physios I could get back in time for pre-season with Wasps and England. I’m on course for that and I should be back in the next couple of weeks, starting pre-season with Wasps on Wednesday. I’m just hoping that I get the call from England and I get the chance to show what I can do in training with them to give myself a chance to make the World Cup squad.
"Last week I had my first running session since the injury and I felt good, I felt strong. We pushed my body and every exercise I did felt good so I am happy I’m in the right place. I cut my holiday short and have been back working at the club with the physios, who have been brilliant with me, and it’s all going to plan. Fingers crossed it will continue to go well and I’ll be back out there in no time."
Before his injury, Simpson was in the form of his life. His try against Exeter Chiefs saw him pick up the Aviva Premiership Try of the Season Award, highlighting the kind of threat he has provided in black and gold all season. Couple that with an improved control of the game and a mastering of the basic skills, it is no surprise that Simpson was being touted for a return to the white shirt of England.
"We had a great season here at Wasps," he said. "We played some superb rugby and I had a really enjoyable season. I felt really confident and think I was playing the best rugby of my life. If I do get the call, I need to be in the best shape possible to give a good account of myself in England camp, if that chance were to present itself."