Malone ready for London Irish debutBy Alan Manicom
September 16, 2009
Chris Malone is hoping to make his first appearance for London Irish on Sunday after recovering from an horrific hamstring injury.
The Australian fly half played 47 minutes for the Exiles A team in their 35-29 win against Bath United on Monday without any problems.
And he is now looking forward to featuring in Sunday’s Guinness Premiership clash at Leeds.
Peter Hewat is expected to take over at full-back following Delon Armitage’s shoulder injury, leaving an extra space on the bench for a back. And Malone is sure to be one of the favourites for the spot.
Malone was injured in the infamous Bloodgate game between his former club Harlequins and Leinster last season.
His exit in the Heineken Cup quarter-final clash left Quins without a recognised kicker and led to Tom Williams’ fake-blood injury that allowed fly-half Nick Evans to be brought back on.
Malone said: “If I hadn’t got injured we hopefully would have won the game, which was the biggest thing at the time.
“Obviously there was some pretty controversial stuff that went on after that, but thankfully I had nothing to do with it. I was just laying in agony in the changing-room.
“I tore my hamstring off the bone in my backside. I had to have that reattached by screwing all three tendons back into place.
“It was just a case of waiting for them to knit back onto the bone.
“That usually takes only 12 weeks, but then I had to build the muscle back up after all the wastage. The recovery has been quicker than expected, though, so I am really happy with that.”
Malone admits Irish’s opening-day defeat at Saracens was difficult to watch from the sidelines.
He said: “I was running the water and the messages and I was quite nervous to be honest. I didn’t want to be because there are enough games coming up where the nerves will kick in.”
Malone is now keen to kick start his Irish career.
“I got approached by Toby (Booth) and Catty (Mike Catt) to come over.
“They were obviously quite keen to bring in some new No. 10s and Catman is getting old now and they needed a bit of younger blood,” joked the 31-year-old.
“I just want to get in the team and do well.”