Clunies-Ross looking ahead to 2016 after season-ending injury
By Tom Greenaway
Sydney Stars winger Henry Clunies-Ross had just scored his side’s second try against Queensland Country in round two of this year’s NRC.
Full of confidence, he caught the ball from the kick-off and opted to run rather than kick from deep inside his 22.
And from there, it all went wrong.
“I thought I’d carry it into some big forwards and try and make a break, I’m not really sure what happened next but someone fell on me and I heard a pop… I looked down and my ankle was at a right angle,” he told Rugby News.
Last year’s Intrust Super Shute Shield rookie of the year had dislocated his ankle and broken his fibula, an injury set to slow his booming career and expected to keep him off the field for at least the next five months.
“He was one guy I had been particularly impressed with… he’s an excitement machine so it’s a real shame,” Stars assistant coach Dan Parks said.
Having never sustained an injury of this magnitude, the Trinity and Sydney Uni product said he didn’t know how he would handle it.
“I’ve done ankles and collarbones but nothing this bad… I’m on crutches for six weeks with two massive screws in my ankle. It’s pretty heavy.”
Clunies-Ross has been one of the Students best over the last two seasons and was looking to continue that form in the NRC in the hope of pushing for further honours.
“Obviously I really wanted to showcase my skills in this years NRC, like I thought this was going to be my time and the time I could dominate so it is a bit frustrating.”
After being thrown into first grade in his first year out of school, Clunies-Ross joined the Waratahs extended training squad in 2015.
“Training with the Waratahs has been pretty cool, all those guys you worship at school and to now be training with them, it’s pretty special.”
Although he will miss the start of the Waratahs preseason, Clunies-Ross said he’s confident he can return in time for the 2016 season.
“I’d like to think I’m a quick healer,” he laughed.
“I’d like to play footy for as long as possible, its pretty frustrating but at 21 it’s probably the best time it could happen.”