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Humphreys glad to be back

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Ian Humphreys will make his return to first-team action when Tigers face old rivals Bath Rugby at The Recreation Ground this Saturday (kick-off 2.15pm).

The 25-year-old fly-half suffered a shoulder injury at the end of the 2006/07 season and hasn’t featured for the senior side since the Heineken Cup Final against London Wasps back in May. He played 40 minutes for the Development XV in the 33-14 win over Cambridge University last Monday and is now looking forward to getting Tigers’ defence of the EDF Energy Cup off to a positive start in the West Country this weekend.

“It was really nice to be back playing again,” said Humphreys. “I think it’s been four or five months since I played. To get out there and start was great. I got 40 minutes and we had quite a strong side out so it was a nice welcome back to rugby. We dominated the first half, so thankfully a lot of the other boys did most of the running for me, meaning my lungs weren’t too bad!

“I’ve been dying to get back playing and throwing a ball about so I’m looking forward to Saturday.”

After continually impressing at Guinness A League level, Humphreys broke into the club’s first team before winning international honours with Ireland A last season. However, after playing superbly in the historic win at Munster in January, the former Belfast Harlequin failed to hang on to the No.10 shirt for the climax to the Double-winning campaign.

“It was my own fault to a degree. I was given a few more chances and probably didn’t perform the way I wanted to. Goodey got in and played very well in those games. It’s such a big squad so people are going to miss out. I got 20 minutes at the end of the Heineken Cup Final and that was nice to get out on the pitch but, hopefully, this season I’ll make more of an impact.”