FEATURE | Scott's long road to recovery

They say that blondes have more fun, but for fresh haired centre Matt Scott, there unfortunately haven’t been too many reasons to smile during the last five months.

It has been a long and gruelling return to full fitness after suffering a concussion against RC Toulon back in October, but now back fighting fit, the 28-year-old is once again loving his rugby.

Scott played the entirety of last weekend’s match against Ulster, while his well-taken score against Scarlets the week prior sparked a brilliant come-from-behind win at Parc y Scarlets.

“To get my first full 80 minutes was awesome and it’s always great to score a try as well!” explained Scott.

“Being out for five months and getting a big comeback win like that sort of affirms why you play the game. There are points where you’re pretty dark and in the middle of your rehab and wondering when you’ll get back out onto the pitch.

That winning feeling in Llanelli will have no doubt felt a million miles away during Scott’s return to play – a period which the centre described as the ‘hardest he’s had.’

“It is definitely the hardest injury I’ve had. I think if you’ve never had a concussion, it’s very hard to relate to. It is such an intangible injury. There are no scars, no wounds. You’re talking about headaches, which the doctors and physios are having to take your word for.”

“It was really important for me to make sure I was right before I came back. I didn’t want to jeopardise possibly damaging my health long term and it is the one injury that you can’t push too hard.

“Thankfully, there was no pressure from the coaches to play and the medical staff were brilliant as well. To finally get through it, it’s almost just a release.”

Now back in the mix and raring to go, Scott’s legs and mind aren’t the only things that appear to be fresh. Sporting a new blonde haircut that Eminem would be proud of, you can hardly miss the centre rampaging in open play – not that his Head Coach seems to approve!

“Every second day Cocker is asking me when am I getting it cut again,” chuckled Scott. “He probably won’t be too happy to know that I’ve had it redone again this afternoon!

“It’s been a bit of a mixed reaction. Some folk say to me: ‘what the hell have you done to your hair?’, but I think some of the younger generation quite like it and I don’t really care what people think. I’m quite enjoying the change and it’s just a bit of fun.”

With his first season back in the capital nearing its end, Scott will no doubt look back on a year that has served up unfathomable peaks and troughs.

From grabbing a try in the bonus-point win over RC Toulon back in October, to sitting out a large portion of the year due to injury, there have been plenty of lessons learned throughout the rollercoaster 2018/19 campaign.

“I’ve loved being back, I just wish I played more games. That's what has been really disappointing for me. I feel like I’ve not shown a true reflection of what I can add to the team.

“Going through this whole experience has made me extremely grateful of the chances that you get to play. You never know when it is going be your last game, so I hope for the rest of the season I can play as many minutes as possible and help this club achieve great things.”