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Bower on verge of return from injury


After picking up a knee injury in pre-season, it has certainly been a frustrating experience for Sheffield Eagles outside back Connor Bower on his road to recovery. 

Bower played the opening few games of 2020 before the season was cancelled and Eagles Director of Rugby Mark Aston had complimented the centre on his preparation ahead of the 2021 season. 

This setback has only fuelled the centre’s fire, whose name will be in the hat for selection on Sunday against Whitehaven. 

“Injuries never help and nobody wants to get injured, especially after being out for a year already!” Bower said.

“We had a frustrating start to the season in 2020 and after that, everything being stop-start was even more frustrating. 

“To come back into training and get an injury before the first game, it’s never nice but the backroom staff have been brilliant. 

“Hats off to them for keeping my head sane and also helping the other boys like Glover and Matt James. 

“It’s been a learning experience for me but I’m happy I’m through the other side.” 

On a personal level, away from the sport, Bower kept himself busy through lockdown despite being furloughed from his day-to-day job. 

This resulted in him becoming “the fittest he’s ever been”, which made the injury in pre-season a bitter pill to swallow.

“I’d like to say I’ve used lockdown to my advantage,” he added. 

“It was a good time to test myself mentally. 

“I did a couple of marathons, which was a bit crazy, so I was probably the fittest I’ve ever been. 

“Then coming back into pre-season and picking up a freak injury, that’s what made it harder to take. 

“I enjoyed lockdown and relished it, but I’d like to think I’m in a better place now.”

The Eagles had a great start to the league campaign with victories over Bradford and York but they’re now without a win in four. 

Bower has still been impressed by the squad’s work in training but the pieces of the jigsaw haven’t quite come together as of late. 

“We have found it tough in the past couple of weeks and missing the Halifax game didn’t help either,” he said.

“We have not got that 80-minute performance as of yet and we’ve spoken about that. 

“We want to get back into that winning routine and get through the hard times. 

“I’m hoping I can help the boys do that but hats off to them, as they have been working hard in training and that’s something fans don’t get to see. 

“Sometimes the things we work on don’t fall our way on a Sunday and then we look to put that right.” 

By Dan Fowler, photo by Alex Coleman