Skirving eyes season opener
By Ben Blackmore. Last Updated: July 12, 2006 11:41am
Saracens' talented young forward Ben Skirving looks set to be fit for the new season after a selfless summer of rehabilitation at Vicarage Road.
The 22-year-old, tipped for England honours in his favoured number eight role, underwent shoulder surgery in February - ruling him out of the last three months of the season.
Skirving has responded in typically positive manner, scrapping all holidays plans in favour of a summer date with the gym.
Sarries had feared they would be without their dynamic back row for the early stages of the new Premiership campaign, but Skirving's dedication has raised hopes of a premature appearance.
"I didn't want to be lagging behind in terms of fitness," he explained on the club's official website.
"After the surgery, I had the shoulder in a sling for a month and all I could do was bike work and I've been progressing since then.
"I didn't go away on holiday, I just wanted to concentrate on my fitness to make sure I was at the same level as everyone else when pre-season started.
"But I've been back doing full weights for about three weeks now and have just started some contact work, so it's all going well and I'm getting up to full strength."
Sarries will be hoping for a much improved campaign this year, after finishing a disappointing 10th last time out.
They start the 2006/07 season with a showpiece clash against Wasps at Twickenham.