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Ben Te’o has declared himself fit and raring to go after putting himself through an intensive six-week rehabilitation programme in Australia.
Te’o has been out injured since mid-October but flew to Brisbane in December to work with two former NRL colleagues Rob Godbolt (Queensland State of Origin physiotherapist) and Andrew Croll (North Queensland Cowboys strength and conditioning coach).
The programme cost him thousands, however, Te’o was determined to get himself back in time for England’s bid for a record third-consecutive NatWest 6 Nations title.
“I feel coming back that I’m just so hungry to get back into it,” said Te’o. “The ankle feels really good.”
'Brekkie and boxing'
His schedule in Brisbane started at 6am and the Worcester Warriors centre left no stone unturned in his attempt to return to fitness.
“I was up about 6am, I’d go and get brekkie, begin my treatment and physio then do my rehab running, have a break, do my weights, have a break and then I was going to see a boxing trainer to get a bit of conditioning.
“You can only do so much on a lower limb, it would get swollen so boxing was the only thing I could do to try and trim a bit of the fat off.”
The regime saw him 'drop a couple of kilos’ but also get himself mentally, as well as physically right to return.
“I was training three times a day, I enlisted a highly-experienced physio and trainer over there so that the full focus was on me,” he added.
“Sometimes when you are doing rehab at a club, then there are over players the physios need to see, so you have to fit in with them. Over there it was all tailored to me, I tidied up my diet, dropped a few kilos so that’s why I went.
“I felt it was going to be important for me to go away and I don’t mind picking up the tab for that.
“The RFU and Worcester were great throughout the process and there was a lot of collaboration between us and the physios to make sure we were on schedule and ticking all the boxes.”
Talent and competition
Te’o, who has eight England caps and two tries, took advantage of the hard surfaces and warm weather in Brisbane to get fit and now hopes it will be enough to earn selection for England’s NatWest 6 Nations opener against Italy in Rome on 4 February.
“We are all competing for spots and there is just so much talent here,” he said.
“I really enjoyed it last year, so hopefully I get another opportunity. My goal is to be a part of it.”