Confidence in Crane as winger re-signs
In one scintillating passage of play winger Rhys Crane earned a contract extension with Nottingham.
The 26-year-old is the first player to pen a new deal with the Green and Whites for the 2012/13 RFU Championship, adding to the 13 players already contracted for the new campaign.
Despite enduring a nightmare season, which amounted to three cameo appearances and more than 13 months on the sidelines with injury, Crane’s potential could not be ignored.
From little more than 100 minutes of game time, between recovering from knee surgery, a broken jaw, a debut lasting just 30 seconds and a career-first red card, he still found time to convince Nottingham Director of Rugby Glenn Delaney to re-sign him.
It was his explosive impact off the bench against London Welsh in the final match of the season, putting on a big hit to win possession before crossing for a try with his first touch of the ball, which sealed it.
“He earned his contract off the bench that day. He showed us exactly what he is about, adding energy and enthusiasm to the game at a time that it was lacking on the pitch,” Delaney said.
“He showed fantastic desire to play for this club, his attitude, application and potential is everything we look for in a player.
“He is clearly a talented player who had a horrendous season with injury. That broken jaw that took him out against Esher in December isn’t the sort of start anyone wanted for him.”
With a thorough understanding of Crane’s recent injuries, Delaney didn’t hesitate in signing the athletic back.
“He is no more of a risk than any other player, he proved his fitness at the end of last season and has put those knee problems behind him,” Delaney said.
“We are not worried about what’s happened in the past, we are only concerned about what he can do for us in the future.”
Crane said he was “over the moon” to remain in Nottingham, vowing to return the faith put in him by club management.
“Reputations aren’t made in one game, and now I have a whole season to look forward to proving myself,” Crane said.
“It’s a great to have the vote of confidence from Glenn that he feels that I have something to give the club.
“I’m looking forward to a good pre-season. Just the prospect of getting a full pre-season without any niggles holding me back is a nice change from the past few years.”