End Of The Season & England Squad Hopes

Posted on: 09 May 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Nick’s season has come to a premature end after injury ruled him out of London Irish’s last game of the season. This week he looks ahead to his summer plans and England hopes.

It was another disappointing and frustrating weekend for me last week. I was again left out of the squad to play Leeds on Sunday because of my foot injury and I was forced to watch the game from the stands.

I did my corporate duties but for the game itself I had the privilege to co-commentate on the game for BBC Radio Berkshire. I’ve done it once before and really enjoyed so it was a pleasure to get my media head on for the game again.

But injuries at any time can be frustrating and I was looking forward to getting out on the pitch for our last home game of the season and erasing the memory of our Heineken Cup defeat against Toulouse.

The boys managed to do the business on the pitch, picking up a bonus-point win and we’ve set ourselves up for the last game of the season with something still to play for.

We’re still doing all we can to finish within the top six and earn ourselves a place in the Heineken Cup again for next year, to do that we have to pick up another bonus-point and beat Sale on their own patch which is never an easy feat.

We also have to rely on Leicester losing at home to Harlequins but in all sports - you have to go out and do your job first before looking elsewhere. If it doesn’t happen it’s not the end of the world.

I won’t be a part of things on Saturday as my season is over. The physios decided to put my foot in a cast and I’ve been ordered to rest the foot for a couple of weeks, otherwise it simply won’t heal.

I had hoped to play but I understand I could be doing myself some damage so this week and next week is all about recuperation.

The boys are travelling up on Friday night so I won’t be going along with them, instead I’ll be enjoying a rare weekend off and I’ll catch up on the game on the radio.

On Sunday we’ll be going to The Church in Kentish Town, London for some end of season drinks and to wish the guys leaving all the best. It’s a London Irish tradition to turn up there the day after our last game for an unofficial send off.

This time of the year is the best for playing rugby. The weather for training picks up and everybody seems to be fighting and tussling for positions in leagues and squads.

On Tuesday the England Saxons and full England squads are announced and I’ll be listening to both with my fingers firmly crossed.

It’s always a nervous time when the national squads are announced and I hope to be named in one of them.

I was a part of England Saxons’ last two games which we won but I’m yet to be called up to the full squad so I’m really hoping this could be my time.

If it’s with England I’ll start to prepare for a trip to New Zealand and if it’s with the Saxons I’ll be going to Chicago and Canada and give everything I’ve got, after all you’re representing your country which is every player's dream.

But the squads don’t leave until June so if I get picked I’ll be hoping the foot recovers as soon as possible. I’ll be trying to keep in good condition but it means three weeks of training on your own to stay fit.

With the season ending this weekend it is a time to start winding down, chilling out and spending time with friends and families, so on Saturday night I’ll be going out for a friend's birthday and next week we’ve our sponsors' evening and end of season dinner/dance to look forward to.

But right now, things on the rugby pitch are pretty slow until my foot recovers.

Nick Kennedy, 8th May 2008

London Irish thrashed Leeds Tykes 43-20 in the Guinness Premiership last Sunday. This Saturday they travel to Manchester to take on Sale Sharks in their final game of the season. Kick off 3pm.

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