Three years after a serious car accident left him in a coma for three weeks, James Tincknell is on the verge of pushing London Welsh to Championship promotion.
The 25-year-old trialist impressed coach Justin Burnell during the B&I Cup double header win over Edinburgh Academical last month, and he is out to continue that form against Pontypridd on Sunday.
Yet, it is a miracle Tincknell is involved at all and the former Leeds Carnegie, Doncaster Knight and Cornish Pirates centre is thanking his lucky stars after the accident in 2011 left him with bleeding on the brain, a punctured lung and a fractured rib.
“I was in a coma for three weeks and spent a further five weeks in hospital,” he said.
“In reality, I came out of it pretty unscathed because I had no broken bones or long-term injuries. I was lucky.
“It set my rugby career back. I lost a lot of weight and it affected my strength, speed and power, and my general fitness.
“It’s been tough to come back. It’s taken a lot of hard work and graft, but now it’s about pushing on.”