Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club

Patience key as Anders makes winning return

Anders Nilsson marked his return to a starting place in the Ealing Trailfinders first XV with a man of the match performance at home to Cinderford on Saturday.

It was an emotional day for everyone involved with the Club as former player Jack Fishwick returned to Vallis Way for the first time since suffering a rugby accident which left him quadriplegic. 

The day was dedicated to raising money for the Jack Fishwick Discretionary Trust Fund, which has been set up to raise money for his ongoing treatment and care and the 28-12 win topped off a very successful day in which a large amount of money was raised for Jack. 

Flanker Nilsson is one of the Ealing Trailfinders players who knows Jack well and who played alongside him during his two years in W13. 

“The match meant a lot to us, it was about much more than the five points, ” Nilsson said. “I’m very, very big friends with Jack and to be honest I was thinking more about that. 

“I had tears in my eyes at the start of the match as the emotions were running high and in the changing rooms it was huge.”

The match was a stop-start affair and Ealing Trailfinders had to fight hard to ensure the five points against a Cinderford side who didn’t lie down and who tried to play some running rugby when the chance arose. 

Phil Chesters’ second try of the day five minutes from time secured the bonus point after Sean O’Connell and Tom Wheatcroft had scored either side of the winger’s first. 

“In the first half we folded a bit and it wasn’t the best performance, but as we’ve done before we got the five points, ” Nilsson added. “We’ve got a lot to work on and I’m just happy we came through it, especially for Jack on a day like this.”

For Nilsson the match was his first start in over a year after he returned from an ankle injury. He came off the bench a week ago against Wharfedale and then against Cinderford he was his usual bustling presence around the pitch and a consistent lineout option at the back of the line. 

“I feel fresh, vey fresh, ” he said. “It was good to get out there, good to actually let the ankles play a bit of rugby and they seem to be holding up so far, touch wood.”