Back in SA and desperate to play again, Springbok flank Marco ‘Eskom’ van Staden says he’s fighting fit and raring to go.
Van Staden was released from his contract with Premiership champions Leicester Tigers on 1 July after one injury-hit campaign with the English club.
The 26-year-old made just eight appearances in all competitions in his lone season at the Tigers, after playing for the Boks in the 2021 Rugby Championship, as he struggled with the side-effects of a long-term concussion.
“Lately, medical experts in England and here have given me the green light to play again. Every brain function tested was normal and even above normal,” Van Staden told Netwerk24.
“I have no symptoms and have been exercising for the past six months.
“The doctor who tested me in England is also on the World Rugby’s list of medics, so there is no concern or doubt in my mind that I’m not fit to play again.”
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Van Staden added: “That’s why I pay a lot of attention to my tackling technique. I also recently had eye surgery to improve my vision. It’s not that I don’t think about it at all but when you make that decision to play rugby, you know there are risks.
“No rugby player can run with the fear that he could be injured. You can’t blame anyone after you’ve made that decision either.”
Van Staden is a renowned fetcher and breakdown disrupter and he left the Vodacom Bulls for the UK with winners medals from Super Rugby Unlocked and the Currie Cup.
But, while he would love to play for the Bulls again, the nine-Test loose forward is just anxious to get back on the field.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I know the culture and system at Loftus Versfeld well. I am 100% ready, but I have no control over the processes of the Bulls,” Van Staden said.
“If the Bulls or any other club want to do further tests to make sure it’s safe for me to play again, I’m more than willing to do it. I just want to play again.”
Photo: Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images