WORTHING Raiders Rugby Club were dealt another huge injury blow on Saturday as Matt Farnes has been ruled out for at least six months with a knee injury.
Farnes suffered a broken patella in Raiders’ 31-15 win at home to Chinnor, which moved them six points clear at the top of National 2 South.
The 25-year-old centre, who has played for Worthing since he was six, suffered the injury while making a tackle and admitted that it could take until this time next year until he is back fully fit.
He is hoping that Raiders will be a National 1 side when he returns and said: “I can’t really remember much about it. It was just like a normal tackle and, at first, I thought I had a dead leg but I had actually shattered my knee cap in five places.
“I’ve been told I’ll be out for six to eight months. It’s the first season I have played a full part for Raiders and it’s the first serious injury that I have had.
“It’s the third season-ending injury we’ve had now in the last three months (after Matt McLean and Darren Clayton) and it’s rare for a team to get one serious injury in a season.
“I’m not going to rush things. The doctors always give the worst case scenario but, once I’m up and running, I’ll be at the club having physio twice a week.
“I think it could be this time next year that I’ll be properly back and, hopefully, we’ll be in National 1 then as we’re in a position to push on now.
“There’s so many reasons for us to win the title this year. Charles Boughton-Leigh passed away in July, so we said we’d get promoted for him. Then Matt got injured and we said ‘let’s do it for him’ as well, then it was Darren. When Dave Roberts (team manager) died earlier this month, we said we’d do it for him. And now the team have said they’ll do it for me as well.”
Matt McLean suffered a dislocated right ankle and a broken right leg in November and Darren Clayton dislocated an elbow earlier this month, while Will Harris, who was playing for the A team on Saturday, also suffered a knee injury.
Raiders head coach Kieron Dawson said: “It was a rusty performance on Saturday but we got the right result, although it’s come at a big cost.
“Everyone at the club is gutted for Matt and wishes him a speedy recovery. He’s a great club man and had worked really hard to get into the team. We’ll look forward to having him back.”
Raiders travel to Redruth on Saturday for a top-of-the-table clash. Worthing won 27-26 at home and sit 12 points clear of Redruth, who have two games in hand.
Dawson said: “Although we won on Saturday, I think everyone had one eye on this week. It could be a game that defines the season.
“They haven’t played for a while owing to postponements, which means they’re going to be fresh but, hopefully, they will be a bit rusty. If we can stay in the game for 60 minutes, we’ll hopefully be able to give it a go in the last 20 minutes when they might be suffering from a lack of match fitness.
“They’re a very physical side and will have a big crowd watching the game, so it’s going to be a very big day.
“We’ve just got to keep trying to get four tries in every match we play. If we do that, we’ll win games as we’ve got a good defence.”