It was bad news for Eastbourne Rugby Club captain Joe Tobin this week after he was told he will need multiple operations to recover from the knee injury he sustained at the weekend.
Tobin was whisked off to the Eastbourne DGH just ten minutes into Eastbourne’s clash with Rye on Saturday after a crunching tackle left him with a dislocated knee.
The skipper is currently still in hospital awaiting the first bout of surgery but it is hoped he will be released and home in time for Christmas.
The Blue and Golds’ first team coach Mal Chumbley said, “Joe has damaged his knee quite badly and will need a couple of operations - the first of which will be in the next day or two.
“His recovery time will be substantial but we’re just taking it one stage at a time.
“The rugby club will continue to support Joe through this down time for him.”
All at the rugby club took time out to praise the officials and the medical staff who handled the situation, with the referee immediately switching the match to an adjacent field to allow Joe to receive treatment where he was.
Chumbley added, “Where his knee dislocated, they had to try and reallign it on the field because, as it was, his leg wouldn’t fit through the ambulance door.
“It looks like he’s snapped his ligaments rather than just extended them, which is obviously quite a substantial injury.
“At the end of the day, players’ welfare is paramount and the most important thing now is to make sure Joe recovers well.
“We’re not expecting him back before the end of the season and even then, we need to make sure he has recovered fully before he can return to playing enjoyable rugby the way he always has done.”
The injury marred what would otherwise have been a very successful day for the club, who thumped their opponents rye by 49 points to nil.
With table-toppers Burgess Hill only recording a narrow victory in their contest with Holbrook, Eastbourne’s emphatic win helped close the gap at the top of the league to just three points.
Chumbley said, “Whether it was inspired by Joe’s departure or not, we put in a very good performance.
“We started well and had quite a lot of control in those opening ten minutes.
“After Joe’s injury, we picked up where we left off. Our ball carrying and ball retention was excellent, as was our discipline.
“It was a good way to go into the festive break and we’ve sent out a strong message in the first half of the season that we hope to continue when we come back in January.”
As well as a victory on the field, the rugby club recorded some wonderful achievements off of it as Oliver Brooks, son of chairman Fraser Brooks, raised £1,100 for the family charity ‘You Raise Me Up’ by getting his head shaved after the match.
Vice Chairman’s son, Tom Snell, also spontaneously decided to shave his hair off and added a couple more hundred pounds to the total.