London Irish newboy Humphreys feared career was overBy Alan Manicom
September 27, 2012
Ian Humphreys has revealed that there were times in the last couple of months when he feared his London Irish career might have been over before it had even started.
Exiles will be hoping their new fly-half can guide them to victory against Worcester Warriors at Sixways tonight (8pm kick-off) following his impressive debut in last Saturday’s 29-22 home win over Bath.
Humphreys, though, was forced to wait for his first start in an Irish shirt after struggling to shake off the effects of the concussion he suffered before his move from Ulster this summer.
He said: “I had two or three blows to the head at the end of last season and I couldn’t do any training, intensive weights or running without getting headaches and blurred vision.”
Humphreys’ last match was in Ulster’s 42-14 Heineken Cup final defeat to Leinster in May when he was forced to go off just 24 minutes after coming on as a second-half replacement.
He said: “I had a bang two weeks previously and another two weeks before that. Then in the final I got hit on the side of my head by one of my own team and I couldn’t stay on.
“It was a very frustrating way to finish my time with Ulster, but that’s the nature of the game.”
Humphreys used all his experience to help guide Irish to their first Aviva Premiership win of the season last weekend.
He said: “It has been a tough four months and it was a relief to get on the pitch.
"There were times I did not think I would get back to playing.
"Some days I was getting headaches for no apparent reason.
"I would try to do a few weights and the headaches would come back.
“I couldn’t ever imagine getting tackled again. I didn’t feel I had the concentration to play again.
“There were some dark days and I am sure my wife didn’t find me very pleasant to live with.
“The medical staff here and the conditioners were brilliant.
"Through medication and rest it has now cleared up.”
Humphreys is grateful to London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith for being so understanding at a time when the club were suffering something of an injury crisis in the backs.
He said: “Smithy was very accommodating and thankfully those days now seem to be behind me.
“We have a high quality team, even though the early results have not shown that.
"Now we have that first win and have shown we can win ugly, we want to show we can win in an attractive style.”
Humphreys is looking forward to battling it out with Worcester fly-half Andy Goode.
The pair had three seasons together as team-mates at Leicester Tigers up until four years ago and Humphreys said: “I think he is a great player.
"He can do everything and will push that forward pack.
"He will play the corners and throw the ball wide when needs be. It will be a real test and I am looking forward to the challenge.
“He was really good to me when I was a young fella coming through at Leicester.
"But hopefully I can now get one up on him!
“I think I lost once at Worcester with Leicester and won once with Ulster, so I know it is a tough place to go.
“I am sure their pack will be pumped up, but we have the pack that can go down there and get the win we are looking for.
“If we want to be up in the top six or top four, we need to get back-to-back wins.
“We can’t just rely on winning home games.
“Winning is a habit. I saw that at Ulster where we went from win-lose, win-lose to lots of wins.
“That gives you the confidence to do things and you don’t panic then when you go behind.
“That was the good thing about the weekend.
“When Bath scored the first try we went out and scored next, then got the lead and kept our noses in front.”