Jersey Reds’ Sam Leeming says his cancer lay-off has been the best thing to happen in his career.
He played in the Reds’ 17-7 pre-season defeat by Leicester on Friday.
“I genuinely think it’s probably the best thing that’s going to happen in my career, however long it’s going to be,” Leeming told BBC Radio Jersey.
“It was a prolonged off-season, I had time to switch off, let other parts of the body heal, I know I was going through some pretty heavy stuff, but I think I’m well on the way.
“I thought I went OK, there’s a lot of improvements to make team-wise, but we’ll see how we go, we’re definitely heading in the right direction.”
Former Bedford player Leeming had a 16-centimetre tumour in his chest and realised something was not right when he felt himself unable to cope with some of his pre-season training.
But he is hopeful he can put his illness behind him and get back on with the rugby career he had to put on hold:
“It’s not something I think about every day now,” he said of his illness.
“All my focus is prep for the season and I’ve had a decent run out today and then we’ve got an even better run out next week against Sale.
“I feel good, I have moments where I think about it, but I’m feeling good and it’s all about the rugby now.”