Monday 23 October 2017

Leader keen to make up for lost time after injury nightmares

Darragh Leader has already played more rugby this term after two games than throughout all of last season, and now the versatile Connacht back wants to make up for lost time. Photo: Getty Images/Stock photo
Darragh Leader has already played more rugby this term after two games than throughout all of last season, and now the versatile Connacht back wants to make up for lost time. Photo: Getty Images/Stock photo

John Fallon

Darragh Leader has already played more rugby this term after two games than throughout all of last season, and now the versatile Connacht back wants to make up for lost time.

A series of niggling and troublesome injuries have curtailed him in the past two seasons but now he is raring to go.

The 24-year old, who only made four starts and as many more off the bench in the last two seasons, is hopeful that he can push on with the sort of form which saw Joe Schmidt call him into the Irish squad four years ago.

He nabbed the bonus point in the 32-10 win over the Southern Kings on Saturday, while he was at full-back the previous week against Glasgow.

"I don't really care what position I'm in, as long as I'm out there playing I am delighted."

Read more: Erasmus: League's new teams will deliver

New coach Kieran Keane has paid tribute to Leader's resilience in battling back from a series of injuries which has curtailed his Connacht appearances to 54 games, 22 of them off the bench, since he made his debut away to Ospreys in 2012.

Two years later Schmidt brought him into an Irish training squad in 2014 but while he made 19 appearances that season for Connacht, he only managed four starts since then until Keane gave him the nod.

"I got a new strapping for the wrist and I can use it now. I love playing rugby and wanting to get back kept me going. I was just unlucky the way it all unfolded but hopefully now it is all behind me."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport