Marshall so happy to be starting for Saints again after horror hamstring injury

Reece MarshallReece Marshall
Reece Marshall
Last Saturday's game against Harlequins may have felt far from special for most of a Saints persuasion.

But it certainly was for Reece Marshall.

Because although the result didn't go the way Saints wanted - they were beaten 49-29 at Franklin's Gardens - Marshall was so happy to be back on the pitch.

It has been a long wait for the 26-year-old hooker, who hadn't started a match for 18 months.

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Marshall made four appearances from the bench during the previous campaign, but hadn't been in the first 15 since the defeat to Exeter Chiefs in May 2019.

The Luton-born forward suffered a horror hamstring injury that pushed back his progress.

But after finally returning to the No.2 shirt last weekend, he now gets the chance to back that up against Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate tonight.

"It felt like a really long time for me, especially with all of this Covid stuff, and I lost sense of time but it's been 18 months or something and I thoroughly enjoyed it being back," Marshall said.

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"Boydy (Saints boss Chris Boyd) asked me after the game if I enjoyed myself and I really did.

"I know the result wasn't what we wanted and we're all disappointed about it, but from a personal perspective, to go out there and play that much rugby again has just felt like such a long time coming.

"The injury I had was a real strange one - I'd never had anything like it before.

"I don't think the physios realised what happened and it was strange how I didn't do my ACL, the hamstring saved it and took the brunt of the force and it turned out to be quite a bad injury anyway.

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"It was worrying because I had the whole hamstring come off but the positive was that I had quite strong hamstrings anyway so they were confident if the surgery was a success, which it was, I could come through it and be fine.

"When the injury happened it wasn't a massive pain, it felt like my leg had been taken off, the whole leg went numb and it was a bit of a panic because I'd never had anything like that before.

"Then, after 10 seconds or so, you start getting this burning sensation through your leg and that was the feel of, 'wow, something is really wrong here'.

"The best way I could explain it was a bit of lego, taking your leg off and there was nothing there, no feeling so it was a real weird one."

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Marshall is now desperate to steer Saints to some wins in the weeks to come.

And he insists the mood in the camp is good ahead of the trip to Bristol.

"The last thing we're going to do is fire at each other," Marshall said.

"Whether you're winning or losing, you've got to stick together and believe in what you're doing.

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"Last season we were on for a top four finish in January and we were flying so if you stop believing in it now that's not going to get you anywhere.

"Results haven't gone our way, but many of it is individual errors and we know we can solve those and turn it around.

"We're all stepping up and taking personal responsibility for what's happened. Everyone's got to take that responsibility.

"Of course it's hard because we're here to win and we want to win but we've got to keep the belief and keep working at what we're doing."

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