11 April 2020

Harlequins' James Lang on missing out on his comeback after injury and a few tips on DIY during isolation

Harlequins fly-half James Lang was just two days away from returning to the rugby pitch after three months out with injury when the rugby season - and the world of sport - was suspended.

And with this week's announcement of the indefinite postponement of the Gallagher Premiership season, that return is looking a while away yet.

He had been looking forward to the Premiership Cup final against Sale Sharks in March, but that too fell by the wayside.

"Not playing for three months I was buzzing to be back out there so it was a bit gutting for it to be cancelled. And not knowing when we're coming back, it's going to be a long while since I played rugby so hopefully I haven't forgotten how to play but we'll see," says Lang.

"Yeah it's tough, that would have been my first shot at a trophy with Quins, so that would've been really good.

"It would've been amazing to play in [that final] so hopefully we'll be able to play for that, but also the Premiership is the trophy you want to go for. 

"And with it being so tight in the middle of the table, everything was to play for. We'll have to wait and see what the government sets out as to what is most safe for the players and their families and we will have to go with it."

Lang is 'gutted' not to be back playing rugby (Instagram: James Lang)

Before the season was suspended Harlequins were in seventh place, just two points behind Bath in sixth and five behind Wasps in fifth.

And while Lang understands the decision-making process he does hope they can finish the season. 

"It's being reviewed everyday, you're not going to know until you know. Hopefully it's not going to be too long and I hope we can finish the season off and play that Prem Cup final.

"But also the circumstances we're under, it's crazy times, it's unprecedented. Everyone is in the same boat. It's not just us, it's people with normal jobs, it's difficult for everyone.

"We understand it's bigger than rugby. We just have to look after each other and stay safe."

The mental health side of isolation is 'tough' for Lang, especially after having his return to rugby disrupted. He adds that Quins have been amazing at keeping in touch with players at this difficult time.

"The club is amazing with checking in everyday with personal messages. Checking how we are, how our families are which is also important.

"The club have been amazing in this period and the boys as well. Obviously you can't socialise face-to-face but everyday I've been FaceTiming with the boys from the club.

"I'm not at home, I'm in a flat on my own. Some lads managed to get home or they've got partners. So the lads who are on their own chat to each other and we've got the great social of Fortnite on Xbox so we spend a few hours in the evening chatting on that."

Lang has played for Harlequins since 2016 (PA Images)

Alongside chatting to his team mates, Lang is in contact with former Quins player and close friend Joe Marchant.

Marchant left the London club on loan earlier this season to begin a career in Super Rugby, where he now plays for New Zealand club The Blues.

"Joe Marchant is on the other side of the world at the moment but he's one of my closest friends. He lives by me in London when he's not in New Zealand having a holiday!

"I spoke to him the other day, he's on lockdown as well with similar rules to us."

He is also in constant contact with his family.

"There's an app my mum wants me and my brothers to download, one called Zoom, so we can have a family chat. So my mum wants us to get on that and have a FaceTime party.

"I don't think we'd get her off of it though if we download it so we've got to be careful," he added.

Lang has been following the training club Quins set for him (Instagram: James Lang)

Lang has also kept himself occupied by carrying out a bit of DIY to while away the hours.

"I've been quite lucky, I've been putting off finishing my flat for while so this is the perfect time to do it. I've been finishing off the bedroom, painting, building furniture. I've been pretty busy, so yeah it's been tough but I'm coping alright.

"I got a dishwasher delivered and I decided not to pay the installation fee, so over the next couple of days I'm trying to put that in!" 

He admits now that he should have paid the extra!

"For future reference pay the installation fee! I think there's some things you should pay for and installing a dishwasher is one of them.

"I had to literally look up YouTube tutorials of how to fit it. I mean it's not perfect, but it does the job, I'm happy!"

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