Will Boyde has revealed that a “freak accident” that left him on the sidelines for 10 months has given him a refreshed outlook on rugby, as he prepares to make his comeback against Bath on Friday.
The back row star suffered double multiple facial fractures following a collision against Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield back in November 2020.
It’s been a long road to recovery for the former Scarlets forward, who admits it’s been the toughest point of his career to date.
Having feared he would never play again, the former Wales under-20 international says he’s now fully focused on producing his best form upon his return to the Blue and Black jersey.
Boyde explained: “It’s tough to talk about really. It was the hardest point of my career.
“It’s refreshed my mind, it really has. My outlook on rugby is a lot more serious now because of how much I could have lost from it.
“I will make sure now I am giving 100 per cent towards my performances and my training.
“In terms of rugby, I had a total of 92 minutes last season before I got injured.
“So I can’t wait to get out there again. I would like to kick on a bit more now.
“It’s the fittest I have been in my career. Physically, I am in really good shape.
“I collided, with a head into my eye socket, and I had double fractures in my orbital on the inside.
“The injury was just a freak accident. The head hit in such a sweet spot. If it had hit my cheekbone nothing would have happened. If it had hit my cranium, it would have been fine.
“It’s just the pressure of my eye going back into my eye socket blew everything out.
“I had an operation and it was a very slow recovery in terms of eyesight, with double vision and losing my eyesight for a good three or four months.
“It was a very tough time for me and my family to be honest with you.
“I had a very long period of very thick double vision. It took a long time to mend that with a lot of rehab and it was questionable at times what the return was going to be.
“For a long time, I didn’t think I would play again.
“I was a very rare case. It was something like a 1 in 10,000 case. So it was new to a lot of people in terms of dealing with it.”
With the turn of the New Year - and Boyde a few months into his road to recovery - his first daughter was born, as the back row explains: “I had a young family throughout the injury as well. I had a new born, so it was a very difficult time at home.
“When the baby was born, I could just about see her up close with the one eye. I also wasn’t able to drive for a while.
“The worst of the visual impairment was a good four and a half, five months.
“It’s not completely recovered now. I still have ongoing issues on my peripheral vision.
“But in terms of rugby we have done all the tests and I’m firing all good there.
“There are two large strong metal plates there now, so it’s stronger than before. There’s no issues with that.
“It was just the nausea post-running because of the double vision, but we have got through that now. So I am delighted.”