Calum Clark has thanked the Northampton Saints supporters both for how they welcomed him back to the club’s first team over the past fortnight, and for the best wishes he received during his time on the sidelines.
The flanker played his first Aviva Premiership rugby in nearly 18 months when he started in the win over Exeter, receiving a standing ovation from the Franklin’s Gardens faithful both when he ran around the pitch before his warm-up and then when he was substituted in the second half.
Speaking in this week’s Saints podcast Clark says that this kind of support was offered throughout his year away from the action.
“I’m very grateful for the support of the fans,” he says. “They were very kind on that night and I’m thankful for their applause and welcome back. All throughout I would bump into people and they would say to me ‘hurry on back’, and while you might not be in the right place to appreciate it at the time I would like to thank anyone who did that. It’s important to recognise that. Our fans are very kind.”
Clark also played in last weekend’s reverse to Harlequins. And while he may be fit to play he says that he is still working back to the levels of performance that won him the Player of the Season Award in 2014/15.
“I’m still trying to find my feet and get back to a level which is acceptable,” he says. “There’s still a bit of a way to go, personally and as a team. I expect a lot of myself and am always looking for improvements, and when you’re starting from nothing to get back to a level where you’re happy is tough. I’ll keep fighting to get there.”
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