PATIENCE is bringing its rewards for Coventry scrum-half Pete White, who is now happily making up for lost time after a delayed start to his Butts Park career.
The 25-year-old, who joined from Bedford Blues in the close season, arrived on crutches and missed all of Coventry’s pre-season as well as the first six weeks of league action after surgery to correct a hip problem.
But, frustrating as he found the lay-off, White’s rehab could not have gone better and after a first outing off the bench against Fylde last month, he hasn’t looked back.
“It was a long 17 or 18 weeks,” he said. “Coming in injured was frustrating, but credit to the physio staff and all the hard work I’ve put in myself to get back here.
“I had a bone spur on my hip which I had shaved down, and I also had some cartilage repaired – it doesn’t sound great and I was four weeks on crutches, but I’ve come back fresh and raring to go.
“I didn’t have any time off from playing last season, it didn’t really affect me, but it was something I had to get sorted otherwise I’d have eventually blown up and ended up getting arthritis at the age of 25, which is probably not what you want. I had to get it sorted, and I’m glad that I had it done.
“I feel as good as new now – I’m still managing it to make sure I stay fresh, but apart from that it’s all good to go.”
White started out at Northampton BBOB at the tender age of four, and his first senior club was Stourbridge where he made 90 appearances across four seasons while studying at the University of Worcester.
“I ended up from there at Bedford, where I had two seasons, and now I’m lucky enough to be playing at this great club,” he said.
“It was definitely disappointing to be released by Bedford, but sometimes you need a new challenge to move forward. I was getting frustrated there, I wasn’t playing enough, so I took the opportunity to come here.
“I’ve known Rowland Winter for a few years, he gave me a job at Northampton Saints as a community coach when I first passed my tests, so I’d worked with him before in rugby but never as a player or with him as a director or head coach.
“When I spoke to him back in Februar, he talked about the way he wanted to play, he’d seen the way I play, there was common ground so it was a no-brainer really.
“Fingers crossed, I can look forward to a good run in the side, but there is strong competition which is always healthy. Sam Grasso is coming back from injury and Rhodri Adamson is playing really well, but it keeps us on our toes and there is the option to rotate as well.”
White, who played in 24 Championship games for Bedford, has ambitions to play as high up the ladder as he can but is happy to be a part of what Coventry are trying to achieve.
“Everyone wants to play at the highest level possible and if an opportunity arises for me to go higher, I’ll grab it with two hands. But I just want to take it week by week, my focus is on playing the best that I can for Coventry, getting some game time under my belt, and hopefully helping this club up the leagues. It’s great to be here.
“There is definitely a jump between National One and the Championship, not necessarily because the teams in the higher league are full-time, but in terms of the pace and the physicality of the game.
“But there are certainly a lot of players in this league, and a lot at Coventry, who could compete in the league above.
“The coaches here are all experienced have all played at a good level, I’m sure they’ll succeed in their coaching careers. We’re building a culture – I think we are on the right path, and hopefully we’ll get there in years to come.
“A lot of what we do is down to the players. We have a game plan and various systems, but ultimately it’s the 15 or 20 blokes who take the field on the Saturday who make the decisions. We play the way the coaches want us to, but sometimes we have to make an in-game change and do what we feel is best and fits.
“The way we found a way to win against Plymouth and Blaydon showed the endeavour and attitude of the players – we play to the end.”