Premiership: fit again Aidan Bambrick ready to push on with Jed-Forest

Scrum-half is back in the saddle after recovering from aa serious back injury

Aidan Bambrick in action for Jed-Forest versus Glasgow Hawks a month before suffering a serious back injury in January. Image: Craig Watson -
Aidan Bambrick in action for Jed-Forest versus Glasgow Hawks a month before suffering a serious back injury in January. Image: Craig Watson -

THE calendar year started on a low for Jed-Forest youngster Aidan Bambrick when he suffered a serious back injury in a 2nd XV match in January, but he is currently in good form in the Premiership and looking to end 2022 on a high note.

“I was in and out of the 1st XV in the first part of last season with other scrum-halves Nik Stingl and Gary Munro also competing for the starting No 9  jersey, but I was happy with the way things were progressing as the Christmas break came,” explains the 20-year-old.

“Then in January I was playing a game for the seconds and took a hit off one of the big boys in the opposition and I landed awkwardly and it turned out I had broken a few vertebrates in my back.

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“When it happened I wasn’t quite sure how serious it was and the physio that was on duty thought that it might have been a hip issue because the pain was in my lower back.

“An ambulance then arrived and the trainee paramedics who were first on the scene said: ‘No, we think it is more serious than that’, and when a second ambulance arrived with more experienced paramedics I kind of prepared myself for it being quite a bad injury.

“I was in hospital for just over a week and thankfully the doctors told me that of all the bones to break in my back they were probably the ones that could deal with it the best and heal the quickest.

“I was up walking again within two weeks, but it took me until July to be back running and it took me until August to play contact rugby again at the Peebles Sevens, so, in all, I was out of action for eight months.

“The physios at the club were great in terms of helping me with my rehab while the Murrayfield Injured Players’ Foundation also helped me out a bit financially and my boss at work [Andrew Blair Joinery] was really good with me and told me not to rush back.”

When Bambrick got back to training with Jed, it was with a new coaching team for season 2022-23 and he has loved the last few months under head coach Andrew Brown and assistant coaches Mark Lee and Neil Cook.

“They have brought a whole new energy to the place and they have some great ideas which has really got the boys buzzing at training and keen to kick on up the league,” Bambrick says.

“They have also been good with me because they were aware of the serious injury I was coming back from in the summer and they have not rushed me or pushed me too hard, but a few months down the line I feel I am playing some good rugby and contributing to an improving squad effort.


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“We are still missing a few guys out injured and the last three games have not gone as planned [defeats to Currie Chieftains, Hawick and Selkirk], but we have shown on our day this season that we are much better than last year, and victories like the ones over Musselburgh, Heriot’s Blues and Marr have given people a glimpse of what we are capable of.

“Going forward, we want to make Riverside Park a bit of a fortress and this Saturday we are playing Selkirk again. We felt we were bullied a bit at their place last Friday [in losing 36-10 to be left eighth in the table] and we want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

After the Selkirk rematch, Jed have trips to Glasgow Hawks and Musselburgh before a home game versus Edinburgh Accies rounds off the pre-Christmas Premiership action on December 17th.

A club like Jed will always rely on young players graduating from Jed Thistle into the senior ranks and from his age-grade side of a few years back, Bambrick, Kyle Grieve and Mason Cullen are now showing up well for the first team.

Bambrick started his rugby at the Jed Minis before carrying on at Jedburgh Grammar and then leaving school to start his joinery apprenticeship just before he turned 16.

Whilst doing that apprenticeship, Bambrick played for Jed Thistle and in the early months of 2020 was preparing for the under-18 National Youth League Cup final versus GHA until Covid meant it was cancelled.

“That was a blow to us all because we were really looking forward to competing for silverware together as a bunch of mates, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be,” Bambrick said.

“I am glad now that I stuck in with my rugby during the pandemic and coming out of it as, after my injury, I feel like I am making up for lost time and learning with every senior match that I play for Jed.”

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About Gary Heatly 303 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.

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