For all of the Ealing Trailfinders players the Greene King IPA Championship match away to London Scottish is something they are eagerly looking forward to, but for Billy Robinson in particular Sunday’s match can’t come soon enough.
The wing is set to make his first start after returning from injury having spent the last three months recovering from a knee injury that he picked up in the November fixture against the Exiles at Vallis Way.
“I just remember carrying the ball into contact and twisting awkwardly when I landed,” he said. “I knew something wasn’t right but it didn’t feel like a normal knee injury, as I’ve had some experience with those before.
“Smithy (physio Justin Smith) suspected that I’d torn multiple tendons in my lower leg and he was right, but subsequent MRI scans also showed that I’d subluxed my patella and, most seriously, dislocated my tib-fib joint.
“It would be dishonest of me to say that I understood perfectly what all that meant, but three injuries in one collision was pretty unfortunate and had nothing to do with my old mate Andy Reay’s ferocious tackling, the London Scottish centre who tackled me.”
Since then the 26-year-old has been a regular visitor to the physiotherapist’s room at Vallis Way and has spent a large amount of time returning to full fitness in the gym.
Prior to his injury the former Moseley player had become a firm fixture in Mike Cudmore’s team primarily on the wing, but also at fullback on occasion. He had also opened his Ealing try-scoring account with a score at home to Cross Keys in the British and Irish Cup last October.
“Obviously it’s hugely frustrating not being able to play or train, but I just tried to make sure I stayed positive and worked hard at the things I could,” he said. “Nick Rees (conditioning coach) was great, and really started challenging me in the gym, which I was very grateful for, as it gave me some focus as an athlete.
“But of course, every player wants to be playing and training every week, so I’m delighted to be back in the team.”
London Scottish have been one of the surprise teams in the Championship this season and currently sit in fifth place, albeit 10 points off the play-off places.
Even so the need for Ealing to leave with something from the match at The Athletic Ground in Richmond is paramount if they are to fight their way clear of relegation.
“The team has improved massively since the last time I played and everyone at the club knows we have a huge amount to play for in the remaining games of the season,” Robinson said.
“I won’t have any anxieties about getting injured again. I think London Scottish are as strong this year as I’ve ever seen them, but we believe that we can go there on Sunday and get something out of this game, though we’ll have to be at our best to do that.”