RODDY GRANT is delighted to be back in the mix after being one of several Edinburgh players to fall victim to injury in last month’s “freak” encounter with Lyon.
The back-row returned to action in the home win over Cardiff last weekend after sustaining a fractured cheekbone in the European Challenge Cup victory over the Frenchmen.
Recalling that Murrayfield match, when he suffered his injury after clashing with team-mate Sam Baird, Grant said: “I’ve never been involved in or seen a game like it with injuries for no rhyme or reason.
“They were just freak, freak incidents. It was amazing the medical staff managed to cope with a broken jaw (Hamish Watson), a broken cheek, a couple of legs (Phil Burleigh and Grant Gilchrist) and concussion (Sam Beard). It was crazy.
“I fractured my cheek in a head clash with Sam. It was a weird one in a double tackle at the kick off. As soon as I was hit, there seemed to be an explosion and my first thought was ‘is he (Beard) okay?’.
“Then I’m on my knees feeling this dent, a hole, in my face.”
Thankfully for Grant, he was able to return earlier than anticipated and the 27-year-old will make his 115th appearance for Edinburgh when he starts away to Italian side Zebre in the Guinness PRO12 today.
“A few circumstances made my return a bit earlier than expected which was a bit of a bonus,” he said. “Being on the arch of the cheekbone, as opposed to the front of my face, made it easier to be back playing.”
Edinburgh, still in the lower half of the table, will be looking to continue a good run of recent form in which they have won four of their last five games. Grant, 27, is confident his side can maintain their momentum in Parma this weekend.
“Morale is good,” said Grant. “It always is after a win, especially now looking at what we did against Cardiff and with the guys we’ve got coming back. Things have started to click and we genuinely believe we are going in the right direction.We need to climb up that table and it starts by winning games and getting on a run.
“Playing any team away from home always presents challenges and Zebre will be similar to French teams in that there will be real pride and expectation from the home crowd.
“A lot of their game is based on physicality but we know what we are in for. We believe we can get those points and go on a roll into European competition the following week.”
Grant is an old school friend of Scotland international cricketer Preston Mommsen from their days together at the celebrated Hilton College in South Africa. The pair have kept in touch since arriving in Edinburgh and Grant hopes to take inspiration from Mommsen, who was recently named ICC Associate and Affiliate Player of the Year.
Grant, who qualifies for Scotland through parentage but remains uncapped, said: “I don’t see so much of Preston these days as he always seems to be sunning himself in Dubai or Australia playing cricket. But I am a big fan of surrounding yourself with good people. In any walk of life things rub off and inspire you to push on. I like to speak to successful people about how they go about their business and I’d like to do as well in rugby as Preston has done in cricket.”