EASTERN COUNTIES ONE: Wisbech captain Tom Long back from injury

Returning Wisbech captain Tom Long has revealed that his four-month lay-off with a broken thumb forced him to consider quitting the sport.

Long, who has spent 11 years at Harecroft Road, made his first appearance since September in Wisbech's 77-3 mauling of Woodbridge on Saturday.

The 31-year-old, who was also sidelined for three months last season, said that although the injuries had raised doubts about his future in the game, it was a relief to be back on the pitch.

'It did cross my mind to stop playing,' he said.

'In the immediate aftermath of an injury like that you question everything and you go through things in your mind.

'I did have some discussions behind closed doors about maybe giving it up but I know myself that I feel strong again now.

'It seemed to me that the only real way I was going to know if I could play rugby again was to actually do it.

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'I don't want to just quit and disappear with an injury. I want to make that decision myself rather than be forced into it.'

Wisbech toasted their captain's return by running in 13 tries in Saturday's demolition of lowly Woodbridge.

The Greene King Eastern Counties Division One strugglers failed to cope with the pace of full-back Joe Barfoot as he scored five scintillating tries.

Jon Turner (2), Nathaniel Humphreys, Phil Martell, Graham Saunders, James Napier, Tom Martell and the newly-signed James Hodgson also crashed over as second-placed Wisbech romped to victory.

Wisbech face high-flying Harwich & Dovercourt tomorrow before travelling to London Exiles in the quarter-final of the Junior Vase on February 11.

Elsewhere fourth placed West Norfolk travel to Woodbridge while Crusaders visit Ipswich YM and Broadland – Gt Yarmouth play host to Ely.

There is a local derby in Division Two, with Mildenhall Eagles playing host to Thetford, while Swaffham entertain Felixstowe and Norwich Union play host to Mistley.