Few players will be looking forward to returning to the Aviva Premiership Rugby stage more than Gloucester Rugby’s Henry Trinder.
The 26-year-old centre endured a torrid time last term, as his season with the Cherry & Whites ended in the 48-10 win over London Welsh back in February thanks to a knee injury that required surgery.
That was Trinder’s first start since last September after struggling with hamstring and shoulder problems, but with a fresh start beckoning in 2015-16 he is hoping to put those woes behind him.
And while it remains to be seen whether he will play in the West Country Challenge Cup – which will involve preseason games against Aviva Premiership Rugby rivals Exeter Chiefs and Bath Rugby – Trinder insists he still has plenty to offer David Humphreys’ side.
“Obviously I’ve been working towards coming back for quite a long time now, and everything has been going to plan so fingers crossed in the next few weeks I will be able to play some preseason games,” he said.
“I’m very happy and really looking forward to being involved in as much rugby as I can next season.
“Last year was tough. Getting injury after injury was not ideal and I just want to be playing as much rugby as I can, and not being involved at a club you can often feel like a bit of a spare part.
“So, it is tough for any player to have a long-term injury, and all you’re thinking about is getting fit as quickly as possible.
“It was pretty frustrating, but I know I’ve still got a lot of life left in me in terms of playing rugby, and fingers crossed I will be fine this season.”
Trinder had established himself as a key cog in the Cherry & Whites midfield before his lay-off, making 14 starts and one appearance off the bench in their 2013-14 Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign.
And with the likes of Billy Twelvetrees likely to be on international duty for extended periods of this season, Trinder is confident he is the man to step into any vacancies in the centre of the park at Kingsholm.
He added: “It will be great to get back in the team and play with all the guys again, and I’ve got no doubt that I’m coming back with the aim of playing every single game.
“I won’t be holding anything back in that aspect, but at this moment in time I’ve just got to make sure I’m fit before I try to get back to my very best.
“I’m hoping to pick up where I left off in terms of getting involved in games, and hopefully the coaches still hold me in that kind of regard.
“I know I can start and compete at this level, so that is 100 per cent what I’m going for.”