England lock surely on course for shock world player of the year title
By Rugby Onslaught

England lock surely on course for shock world player of the year title

Antoine Dupont, Ardie Savea, Eben Etzebeth. These are all names that most people would think could be contenders for World Rugby player of the year depending on how the World Cup pans out. But how many of them were learning how to run last month?

As good as those players are, England’s Ollie Chessum has made Steve Borthwick’s World Cup squad despite having to teach himself how to run at the beginning of camp. That is quite some trajectory the 22-year-old is on having made his comeback against Ireland at the weekend from the bench.

This is after the Leicester Tigers lock suffered a fracture dislocation of his ankle in March while in camp with England. It was touch and go whether he would make the World Cup squad, and when taking into account that he was having to teach himself how to run again on grass in July, it is a remarkable comeback.

This level of development only means one thing. If Chessum has gone from learning to run to playing a Test match in just over a month, it is a scary thought to think how his development will continue throughout the World Cup. Come the World Cup final against Scotland, the England lock will probably be the first player to ever manage to lift themself in the lineout. There seems to be no limit to his development.

This is what Chessum said about his recovery on the latest episode of O2 Inside Line | This Rose:

“We were in Brighton and that was my first time back on the grass, boots on and running. It was a strange feeling. Obviously I got a whole new ankle really and it wanted to function in a completely different way to what it used to. I suppose the overriding feeling was a little bit of disappointment. Coming off the treadmill I was able to run normally by the end of it and I was sort of hoping that that would transfer onto the pitch. But there’s such a big difference, one, in running on a pitch to running on a treadmill, two, running back, full bodyweight. Not having an injury before, I wasn’t really expecting that. I’ve got a lot of decrease range in my ankle now on my left side compared to my right. There’s a plate in there. There’s a few tightrope ligaments. There are a lot of different sensations.”