Running out at Twickenham will be an emotional moment for Trowbridge fly-half Lloyd Davis, four years after doctors told him he would never play again.
The 26-year-old suffered 40 per cent burns in 2010 after an industrial accident at the Trojan Engineering steelworks in Hilperton. He still plays in leggings to cover the burns to his legs, but after two years out of the team he has been instrumental in leading them to the final.
He said: “It was a strange feeling at the end of the semi-final, it was very, very tense. We were fighting to the end for any scraps we could get, so there was an outpouring of emotion for a couple of different reasons.
“In hospital there was one surgeon from New Zealand who was into his rugby who believed I would pull through, but 90 per cent of the doctors said I would be mad to go back.
“I felt very guilty that my team had got relegated and I wasn’t there at the time to help them, so I promised when I would be back we would get back where we belong.”
After an extensive rehabilitation programme he returned to the pitch in 2011.
He said: “It hurts, but so does rugby, so you just have to deal with it. Rugby is what brought me through it. I had a troubled time in hospital one night when I was losing the ambition to keep fighting the pain.
“They asked me what I do and I told them I play rugby, and they said if something’s hurting too much just think of it as a training session rather than rehab for your leg. You have to focus on something that matters, and I just kept that same focus.”
While Sunday’s game will be the biggest of his career, it won’t be Davis’ first taste of Twickenham, having played there for Trowbridge Under-9s against Sherborne.
He said: “I think I am the only one left from that team now, so it will be great to go back. We only played to the dead ball line, so it will be good to use up all of the pitch. We won that convincingly, and I scored two tries, which hasn’t happened for a while now.
“I am Welsh so I tend to go to watch games at the Millennium Stadium, but Twickenham will still be a great experience.”
His father Henry was unable to make the Guildford match, but will be bringing the whole family from south Wales to watch the game.
Lloyd said: “I rang my dad straight after the game and he was chuffed to bits; he is an old Trowbridge coach, so he was thrilled for all the boys involved.
“I’m also bringing my partner Gemma and my 10-month-old son Lucas, so hopefully I’ll get a picture with him at Twickenham.
Having just bought his first house in Southwick he is well aware of the effect the game has had on the town, and the growing support for the team.
He said: “It’s nice to be a part of something to put Trowbridge on the map. It gets a lot of stick but there are some great things going on here.”