Leicester Tigers flanker Julian Salvi prepares to put body on line against Worcester Warriors
Leicester Tigers flanker Julian Salvi will again be happy to put his body in the firing line in tomorrow's clash against Worcester.
The 26-year-old Aussie is expected to start his second game of the Aviva Premiership season when the Warriors arrive at Welford Road.
In a week when fellow back-rower and team-mate Ben Woods, 30, announced his early retirement from the game because of a problematic broken wrist, Salvi has given a stark insight into 'surviving' the brutal life of an open-side flanker in professional rugby.
"As an open-side flanker, you put your head down fighting for the ball and there are knees and bodies flying everywhere," he said.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"When you get up, you are happy to have survived one breakdown and then you go to the next one.
"If you survive an 80-minute game, then it's 'happy days'.
"Few back-rowers come out of the game without a niggle or a cut on some part of their face. You always get bruised and you always get bashed.
"But, at the same time, it's part of playing the game we love.
"It's disappointing to see Woody retire at such an early age. It's one of those positions in the back row where you put your body in there and have to grind it out."
Recent high-profile early retirements to fellow ball-winners like Wasps' Tom Rees and former Tiger Lewis Moody, have highlighted the demanding nature of wearing a No.7 jersey on your back – the man whose job it is to put his head in where it hurts and try to steal possession.
In 2009, Tigers' Kiwi flanker Ben Herring hung up his boots at the age of just 29 after medical advice in the wake of repeated concussions.
Salvi tries not to think about the physical dangers, and said: "You don't want to have the threat of injury in the back of your mind but I am aware, with the position that I play in, it could be all over just like that.
"While you are playing, it rarely crosses your mind but it's always there. If you mis-time something by a second, you could be gone and that is your career (over).
"It seems that careers are getting shorter and shorter. It's just the way that the game is going because guys are getting bigger and stronger.
"There's no way to make it any safer because you can't change the dynamics of the breakdown, where people will always be fighting for possession of the ball."