Super Rugby Pacific: Jeremy Thrush embracing being back out on the field after retirement U-turn

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Second-row Jeremy Thrush says that he is enjoying his return to on-field action after starring in Western Force’s victory at the weekend.

The 37-year-old called it a day at the end of last season, but injuries have left the Force short at lock.

Thrush was duly tempted out of retirement and was on the bench for their Super Rugby Pacific opener against the Melbourne Rebels.

The Perth outfit found themselves 24-10 down just shy of the break but mounted a stirring comeback with Thrush coming onto the pitch to score the winning try.

An interesting time

“I was pretty settled with my decision to step away from the game at the end of last year, and I could pursue a coaching career with the Force and the academy,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“I was reasonably happy with that decision. It’s been a pretty interesting week and a half.”

The ex-All Black, who earned 12 caps, answered the Force’s SOS following injuries to Izack Rodda and Ryan McCauley.

Although the day-to-day aspect of training has been a challenge, Thrush could not the resist the temptation of putting the Force jersey on once more.

“I was always going to miss the game, the game day and playing in the competition,” he said. “All the stuff in between the Friday or Saturday nights was always what was a bit of a battle.

“I kind of know it’s not for a long time, it’s a short contract that’s going on at the moment.

“Just got to enjoy it, just enjoy feeling the way you do and knowing that hopefully maybe I get another chance to put on the Force jersey and have another crack.

“The realisation of coming to it is that I’ve met a lot of great people through the Force, guys that can’t play for them any more with injuries or whatever.

“I knew that if they had that same decision they’d probably die for it, they’ll do anything to have that chance to put the jersey on again.”

‘What am I doing?’

Despite being the Force’s unlikely hero, it was not all plain sailing for Thrush during his time on the field.

“I was pretty buggered and my nose was bleeding pretty bad,” he added.

“It was maybe five minutes before that when I went down with a stinger in my neck and I was on my knee and thinking, ‘What am I doing?’

“You get out there and you put the boots on and you cross that line, I found it pretty enjoyable to be out there.”

READ MORE: WATCH: Western Force legend Jeremy Thrush seals comeback with match-winning try against Melbourne Rebels

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