After an injury-hit, frustrating season, prop Ollie Mines (pictured above, left) is one of that rare breed of player who is actually looking forward to pre-season, so he can really ‘make an impact’ next year.
Equally comfortable on both sides of the scrum, the 24-year-old prop made only seven starts in an injury-hit term, and is chomping at the bit to hit the ground running come September.
“I had a foot injury at the start of the season which seemed to take forever to fix. The support from the medical team, though, was second to none and that certainly kept me going, mentally and physically,” he said.
“For me, it’s now just a case of working hard in pre-season, and making sure that I am as fit and healthy as I can possibly be come that first game. It’s been frustrating sitting on the sidelines and watching our pack shove other sides backward at a rate of knots, and I want to be part of that.”
Despite only making his first appearance of the campaign in the thumping home win over Wharfedale, Mines finished strongly, notching three tries.
One of a number of players in the senior squad with Championship experience, Mines’ know-how will by key in the forthcoming 12 months, with Kyle Sinckler joining Ealing Trailfinders on loan, and Cameron Zeiss linking up with French outfit Tarbes.
Mines, whose piece in the matchday programme proved a real hit with players and supporters alike, is looking forward to the challenges ahead, however, and is keen to stamp his mark on the team, and the division.
“I believe that this team will be back in the Championship before long, and I feel I am improving every week as a player in this environment. It’s a strong looking squad coming together, and I feel we’ll be very difficult to contain if we get some momentum behind us.
“We have players in the group that allow us to play in different ways, and that was something that we started to see in March and April. The challenge for all of us is to make sure we are consistent, giving, as a minimum, 8 out of 10 performances every week. If we do that and continue on an upward trend, we need fear no one.”