June 19 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Barking skipper Craig Ratford’s shoulder injury is only expected to keep him out of action for 5-6 weeks, rather than intial three to four month lay off.
Barking skipper Craig Ratford’s shoulder injury is not as bad as first feared and the fly-half should return to action in six weeks time.
Ratford was believed to have picked up a grade three tear of his AC shoulder joint, which would have kept him out of action for three to four months after a tackle late on in their pre-season fixture against Esher on Saturday, August 12.
But after seeing a specialist last week the fly-half was told the injury isn’t as bad as anticipated and could be back into action after the first month of the season.
“There has been a bit of good news with that and it appears it is not as bad as when I first had it checked out,” said Ratford.
“It was just a normal tackle and I fell awkwardly on my shoulder, it is just one of those things that happen.
“When I first saw a consultant I was told it was a grade three tear and it would be a three-to-four month job, but last week another consultant said it is only a grade two and only five-to-six weeks out.”
And though he will miss the start of the new National Two South when Barking face a trip to Lydney on Saturday, September 1, the former London Scottish fly-half will still be there encouraging his team-mates every step of the way.
“Dean Cutting, the director of rugby did ask me if I could come along to lend a hand and to be honest he didn’t need to ask me,” he added.
“I was always going to come along anyway and support the lads whether Dean wanted me or not!
“But the whole atmosphere at the club is a lot better, there is a feel good factor around the place and a lot of banter amongst the boys.
“Dean and the rest of the coaches have brought a spark back. Twenty-eight games is a long slog for the season and you need a good atmosphere from the start.”
That tally of games would have been 30 had it not been for Rugby Lions being pulled out of the league by the Rugby Football Union (RFU).
The club could not meet obligations set by RFU in terms of their finances and their deadline of last Friday to address the issue was not met by the Lions.
And Ratford feels it is a shame when any club does bite the dust.
“When any team and rugby club goes it is a great shame,” he added. “I don’t know too much about the difficulties they had, but it is two games we have lost this season.
“It is a shame for any club to go, as was the likes of Wakefield and Manchester in the past.”
Ratford also believes only time will tell if they will be undercooked going into the new National Two South season.
The Goresbrook outfit will go into the campaign, which begins on Saturday, September 1 with a trip to Lydney having had three friendlies under their belt, and their most recent one against Rosslyn Park on Friday night was called off due to a number of injuries to the Barking squad.
“A few of the boys have taken some knocks in the games already,” he said.
“We couldn’t afford to pick up any more in another game against Rosslyn Park so Dean made the decision to call if off.
“You could look at it two ways, if we win our first two games, it has been the right amount of friendlies and if we lose the first two it will be classed as not enough.
“But between now and the start of the season we have another five sessions, so that is another 10 hours of rugby under our belts which should hopefully be enough.”