Sheffield Eagles captain Matt James finding wings again after injury nightmare

Sheffield Eagles captain Matt James believes he is finally beginning to rediscover his form after a nightmare injury which left him sidelined for almost two years.

By Steve Jones
Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 12:05 pm

The former Bradford Bulls and Featherstone forward finally returned to competitive action at the start of the 2021 season after he suffered a severe ankle and knee injury in May 2019.

And James, now 34, admitted he is still dealing with some ongoing issues as a result that have left him unable to train three times a week with his teammates.

"Just getting on the field on a weekend has been my priority,” he said.

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Sheffield Eagles captain Matt James. Photo: Steve Ellis.

"We are working hard to overcome those [injury problems] and I’m seeing a bit more game time and getting my fitness back. I knew it would take quite a bit of time.

"I have been disappointed with myself. There have been games where I haven’t been where I need to be, but just like the team I feel myself in training turning a corner where I’m finding a rhythm and doing things expected of me."

James impressed in the 18-18 draw against Dewsbury Rams last weekend – a game which also saw influential second row and enforcer-in-chief Joel Farrell return after almost three months out.

Sheffield had targeted the Dewsbury game, as well as this weekend’s clash against basement boys Swinton, as two matches to get their season back on track after just one win in 10.

"We have been disappointing and disappointed,” said James. “We have quite a few players in this squad and we should be asking more of ourselves. For one reason or another we had a lot of people dipping in form at the same time and it’s had a knock-on effect.

"We can’t take Swinton lightly because we are coming off the back of a big defeat against Toulouse and a draw, we are not firing on all cylinders.”

Sunday’s opponents have lost all 12 of their Betfred Championship games this season and have conceded more points than any other team.

"They have got a good attacking side, I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the defensive side of things,” said James.

“It’s a massive game for us. We really need to be at it on the training field and we need to turn up ready to play.”