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Ellis delighted to be back in the fold

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After 10 months on the sidelines, Tigers scrum-half Harry Ellis returned to first-team action on Saturday as Marcelo Loffreda's men secured a bonus-point victory over Leeds Carnegie at Welford Road.

Ellis, who hadn’t appeared in Tigers colours since sustaining a knee injury in last season’s Guinness Premiership semi-final clash with Bristol, came off the bench to play the last quarter of a hard-fought 34-21 win.

“I’m really pleased to be back playing,” said Ellis. “It’s been a long old road and I’m delighted to be back. There’s been a lot of hard work put in by the conditioning guys, by Julie Hayton, Jackie Limna, Ollie Richardson and the surgeon Tim Green, and everyone at the club has been brilliant. I feel really fresh, sharp and strong and that’s all credit to the conditioning guys at the club.”

During his time out injured, Ellis has had to watch his team-mates begin a brand new season, as well as competing in both the Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup finals in 2006/07, but he has done his best to simply concentrate on his own recovery.

“Each weekend, when the guys have been playing, I’ve been training. I have followed them, but I’ve just been concentrating on my fitness and what I need to do. It’s been really well managed and I’m very happy with the way it’s gone. I’ve been chomping at the bit for the last month or so but I’ve learnt to be patient and I think that’s the biggest thing.

"I’ve been knuckling down and getting some more good gym work in, as well as skills work with Jamie Hamilton. Other guys have proved that you can come back from this type of injury and play well, and I’ve looked to do that all the way through. It now feels better than ever and that can only be a good thing.”

Ellis received a rapturous welcome from a 17,000-strong crowd when he made his way on to the pitch at the weekend and he admits that running out at his home ground is a feeling he has sorely missed.

“The reception was lovely. I’m from Leicester and all I’ve wanted to do is play for the club. The crowd were brilliant and I really appreciated that. It’s been 10 months since I’ve played and I’d lost the feeling of what it’s like to run out at Welford Road so, to get back on was amazing. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a youngster and it’s one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had.”

Despite the obvious buzz of playing again, Ellis won’t be allowing his emotions to get the better of him. The 25-year-old England international will be taking things one step at a time as he continues to put in the hard work required to push for a regular place in the Tigers matchday 22.
“I’ll just keep my head down and keep working hard because that’s what I always try to do. All three scum-halves at the club have been playing really well, so I know I have to keep working hard if I want to get more game time. I’m pleased to have got 20 minutes under my belt but I still need to work hard on the conditioning front because it’s been a long time since I’ve played regularly.

"There’s no point looking too far ahead. I just want to get back playing consistently and take things from there.”