John Barclay, the Scotland captain, has said that he was worried about returning to action after missing six weeks with a head injury.
Barclay was knocked out in September by his international colleague Magnus Bradbury in a game against Edinburgh and he has only just returned to action. He played more than an hour for the Scarlets helping them defeat Benetton at the weekend after being given the all-clear.
He is set to captain his country in the autumn internationals but he has admitted that his prolonged absence left him anxious ahead of his return.
Speaking this week he said, “I was a little rusty, which was a confidence thing as well (as physical). Before the game I was a little anxious just because of the nature of having a concussion and having symptoms for as long as I did. It gave me peace of mind that everything is fine and that was great for me as an individual.”
Barclay said that he has never really had any head knocks before and that the way the recovery “dragged on a little bit and took time” was frustrating as there was no way of knowing how long it would take.
“I had some symptoms and had to just wait and bide my time for them to go away. I was running out of time, which was playing on my mind a little bit.”
Barclay is likely to lead the Scotland side out at Murrayfield on Saturday against Samoa before playing in matches against New Zealand and Australia. He says that he can’t wait to get started after a mixed summer that saw the team defeat Australia and Italy but lose to Fiji.
“It will be a tough few weeks starting this weekend but we’re lucky the ticket sales have been amazing. It will almost be sold out for Samoa which I don’t think has been done before, so that’s exciting and we have an exciting group of players.”