Croft on the brink of dramatic return

Wed, 19 Dec 2012 11:17
Large tom croft lions claps Large tom croft on stretcher Large tom croft lions scrum Large tom croft leicester

Tom Croft is on the verge of finally returning to action as he seeks selection for a second successive British and Irish Lions tour.

Tom Croft is on the verge of finally returning to action as he seeks selection for a second successive British and Irish Lions tour.

The Leicester and England flank hasn't featured for club or country since late April after he had surgery on his neck.

Croft saw last season come to a premature end when he was stretchered off following a mistimed tackle on Nick Easter during Leicester's win over Harlequins at The Stoop in the closing weeks of the campaign.

He missed the remainder of the Tigers' Premiership challenge and England's mid-year tour of South Africa and has so far sat out 10 league games and four European Cup fixtures this term, as well as all four autumn internationals.

But his lengthy spell on the sidelines could now end as early as Leicester's home tie with Gloucester a week on Saturday despite initial diagnosis suggesting he would be out of action until mid-January at the earliest.

"Tom is probably a week away and that is good news for us," Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury.

"It will be a slow integration and we will have to look after him.

"He hasn't played for eight months and we are conscious of that."

Croft was one of the standout performers on the 2009 Lions tour, scoring a brace of tries on his Test debut against the Springboks in Durban.

He initially missed out on selection for Ian McGeechan's squad, but received a pre-tour call up after Munster's Alan Quinlan was banned for making contact with the eye area of Leo Cullen during his team's European semifinal defeat to Leinster.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
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Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 10 8 0 2 40
Gloucester 10 7 0 3 32
Saracens 10 6 0 4 31
Bath 10 6 0 4 30
Wasps 10 6 0 4 29
Leicester Tigers 10 6 0 4 28
Harlequins 10 5 0 5 24
Newcastle Falcons 10 5 0 5 24
Sale Sharks 10 4 0 6 23
Northampton Saints 10 4 0 6 22
Worcester Warriors 10 2 0 8 14
London Irish 10 1 0 9 8