Edinburgh v Munster: Why Damien Hoyland is looking forward to feeling nervous again

Damien Hoyland is looking forward to the familiar feeling of butterflies in his stomach as he prepares to make his long awaited comeback for Edinburgh this weekend.
Edinburgh's Damien Hoyland has not played since October. Picture: Bill Murray/SNSEdinburgh's Damien Hoyland has not played since October. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS
Edinburgh's Damien Hoyland has not played since October. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

The winger has not played since October after damaging ankle ligaments while training with Scotland.

The injury robbed him of any involvement in the autumn internationals and deprived Edinburgh of his attacking talents for a large chunk of the season.

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He is now back to full fitness and in the squad to face Munster at BT Murrayfield on Saturday night after coming through a reserve match against Glasgow the other week.

“It’s been a long few months but I’m back training,” he said. “I’ve had a bit of a run-around in the Glasgow A game and my ankle feels great. And the rest of my body for once feels pretty good too. I’ve just been trying to remember what it's like to play rugby these last few weeks!”

Hoyland has had a tough time of it with injuries since making the breakthrough at Edinburgh and admits he is better equipped now to handle the setbacks.

“If the same thing had happened to me four years ago I would have found it really difficult. But over the last few years I’ve learned just to focus day in, day out.

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“The injury happened on the second day of the Scotland camp so it was really disappointing. But there was an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive and I was able to work on lots of different other aspects in terms of getting into the best physical shape. I just had to make the most of it.

“If you look at my injury history over the last few years my career has been very unpredictable. But I know I’m fortunate to be doing what I do and the risks that come with that are getting injured.

“So I’ve grown to accept that. If you worry too much about injuries or what happens when you get injured then it will eat away at you. The best thing is to take it day to day, whether training or in the gym, and grab my chance when I get it.”

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As a local Edinburgh boy, Hoyland is relishing the club’s move to their new stadium, and in particular the artificial pitch which will suit his game.

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“I absolutely love training on 4G,” he said. “Outside backs traditionally do. In training being able to execute different skills that you can’t normally do when it’s really wet or muddy is a blessing for us. Some of the forwards might disagree but we don’t really care about them!”

Saturday’s Guinness Pro14 match with Munster can’t come soon enough for Hoyland who admits he will be nervous ahead of kick-off.

“Nerves are always there and there’s nothing I can do to stop that. Five minutes before any game the nerves I get are pretty crazy. It’s been that way since I started playing rugby so I don’t think anything will change that. But there’s a difference between being nervous and scared. And I’m never scared going into a game.”

“I’ve trained enough and played well enough to feel confident going into any match now. And the feeling when the nerves go is one of the best feelings ever.”

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