THE RUGBY world will be chomping at the bit to get back to action once the game returns but James Lang is even more motivated than most.
The Harlequins back was due to take his first steps back on the pitch in the Premiership Rugby Cup Final – scheduled to be played earlier this month – having been out of action since December with a leg injury.
The postponement of the showpiece fixture amidst the Coronavirus lockdown put paid to those hopes.
But Lang is not letting that bring him down as he makes the concerted effort to be fit and ready to play his part once business returns to normal.
“I’m buzzing to get back out there,” he said.
“I already had three months out and was about to come back against Sale in the Final. That gets cancelled, so it’ll end up being a long old time since I’ve played.
“It’s tough being in that limbo period of not knowing when we’ll be playing, if we’ll be playing, but you have to be switched on to your rugby.
“As a club we need to improve and it’s just about using this time to identify what aspects on the game we can improve on and implementing a plan for when we do come back to training to get better as a squad.
“Quins gave each player a care package of different weights, equipment, bands and stuff, so I’ve been trying to do that every day, keep my fitness up.
“We’ve got a few of the coaches on to us, sending us different clips for analysis and discussions, just to get that mental stimulation going.
“With S&C, they’re sending us different workouts every day – they’re always finding different ways to help us stay active.
“Not knowing when we’ll be back in, it’s just about keeping on top of things.”
But it is not just the club-provided weights that Lang has been lifting in order to stay in shape.
The 24-year-old has recently moved house, so a barrage of deliveries have seen him lug around and install all manner of furniture, paints and kitchen appliances – something that has been taking up the bulk of his time.
“I thought that this would be a good time to finish off the place,” he continued.
“I’ve been putting together furniture, painting a little bit, so that’s kept me very busy because I’m rubbish at it!
“On Monday, I had a new dishwasher. I didn’t want to pay the instalment, thought I’d do it myself.
“Word of advice: pay the instalment, because it took me the best part of two days to do and I lost my mind! I’m growing up, have reached adulthood now!”
But with the UK currently on lockdown, Lang is facing the prospect of ordering a birthday cake for one next month.
The Scotland international turns 25 on April 4, but given his solo living situation, he will likely light the candles and sing Happy Birthday to himself – unless he can recruit the services of teammate and budding singer-songwriter Paul Lasike, that is.
“I’m going to order myself a little cake, a party hat and sit down and eat it on my own. It’ll be class. What a way to turn 25,” he said.
“Paul can just serenade me with my birthday coming up – that would be a hell of a Happy Birthday!
“I’d love to bring back Joe Marchant, get him on a flight back home, come back here.
“I haven’t seen him in a while; he’s one of my closest mates, and he can sing!
“He and Paul can have a little duet, serenade me! I might get on to the two of them to do me a little Happy Birthday song!”
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Feature image Jack86mkII on Wikimedia.