Grit Graft & Gratitude

10/03/2015

A bulging neck disk: that short, practically colourless introduction is enough to make me grimace. You too?

Yeah, I thought as much. Most of us are fortunate enough to meander through life without sustaining serious injury. More of us on top of that are blessed to escape the uncomfortable, painful inconvenience of a neck injury.

And no position in any other field sport that springs to mind does the prospect of such a malady hang heavier over than those signed up members of rugby union’s front row club.

Stephen Archer’s been there and done that, and it’s not a nice place to be. The Munster tight-head, who signed a new three-year deal with the province in December, recalled the moment he knew something more than some balm and a neck rub was on the cards.

“It was a training session before the Leinster match at the Aviva towards the end of March last year,” said Archer, who turned 27 recently. “Sure it was just one of those things…it was pretty serious injury but plenty of fellas has come back from worse, but I knew myself that I was going to be heading into a long slog but I’m out the other side of that now and there’s no substitute for being fit, well, and ready to play.”

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