BATH RUGBY: Joseph to be centre of attention again

Wiltshire Times: Jonathan Joseph is poised to make his comeback from a three-month injury lay-off Jonathan Joseph is poised to make his comeback from a three-month injury lay-off

THREE months’ worth of recovery from foot surgery is one thing, but some gentle ribbing and scintillating form from his teammates has also ensured that Jonathan Joseph is itching to make his return to action for Bath.

The former London Irish centre hasn’t been seen on the field since limping out of January’s Amlin Challenge Cup victory over Bordeaux-Begles, in which he scored a try.

The four-times capped England man was in good form before the injury, but his return offers a timely boost to Bath’s backline as they prepare for their concerted assault on silverware in the final weeks of the season.

The performances of Ollie Devoto cushioned the blow of Joseph’s loss somewhat, but the 22-year-old is hoping he can make his own positive impact on the end of the campaign.

“It’s been three months so I’m just desperate to be out there playing and training,’’ he said.

“It just takes a lot of time and it’s very frustrating. It being a foot as well you don’t get a lot of time to rest it so it’s probably been my longest injury to date. It’s difficult but you’ve just got to work on other things, like the upper body and keeping your fitness.

“It was bad timing, but it’s part and parcel of the game, but I’m back now and focussing on training well and getting the opportunity to play.

“I had to get it (the bone) operated on. It’s a footballer’s injury, I think, so I’ve been getting a bit of stick for that. It was a case of getting operated on, then letting it slowly settle down and then putting weight on it.’’

In the meantime, Devoto formed a dynamic partnership with Kyle Eastmond earning rave reviews and being mentioned as a future England cap himself.

“He’s gone out and done outstandingly well,’’ said Joseph. “I think everybody’s been impressed with the way he’s gone – I know I have.

“He’s still a young boy and he’s adapting to the centre role very well. That’s probably his best position now, 12 or 13 but he’s done exceptionally well.

“It’s a good place to be with all these young boys coming through and proving themselves on match day and it’s just going to get better.

“I’ve practically had a pre-season so I’m fresh and raring to go. I feel good and fit and excited to be out there.

“It’s the business end, but hopefully I can slowly build my way into it. You want as many boys as fit as possible and I think we’ve only got two boys who are injured now which is good for the club and hopefully it can stay that way.”

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