1:52pm Thursday 10th October 2013
Exclusive By Iwan Gabe Davies
POPULAR ex-Newport Gwent Dragons wing Mike Poole has been given a golden chance to revive his playing career after signing a dual contract with the Scarlets and Wales Sevens.
A firm favourite with the fans at Rodney Parade, firstly with Newport and then with the region, the well-liked former cage fighter has penned a one-year deal.
The 27-year-old 6ft 2in and 14st 6lb flyer was let go by the Dragons in May when he was out of contract.
Cardiff-born Poole has suffered cruel streak after cruel streak with injuries, the latest a broken left ankle sustained during the Rodney Parade outfit’s 18-14 win over the Ospreys in the LV= Cup in January.
He had already faced two lengthy spells on the sidelines after having both knees reconstructed because of ligament damage.
Poole started doing rehabilitation work with the Wales Sevens squad five weeks ago when the Scarlets expressed an interest in snapping him up and he gets the opportunity to make his name in the professional game for the fourth time.
“It was very hard when I was out of contract with the Dragons but I started progressing nicely with Wales Sevens and was in the training squad for the Gold Coast tournament (part of the HSBC Sevens World Series which takes place in Australia this weekend).
“I then had a phone call from the Scarlets to say they were interested in me and I’m delighted and grateful to have been given this massive opportunity by both.
“I would like to thank everybody who has helped me really, including the Scarlets coaches Simon Easterby and Danny Wilson – I knew Danny when he was at the Dragons – Paul John, Gareth Williams, Wayne Proctor and Dan Jones at Wales Sevens and everyone who spoke highly of me.
“I’m not sure how it’s going to work but I think Wales Sevens might have priority if they want me, but we’ll play it by ear.
“I am a few weeks off being fully fit and I just hope I can bridge the gap quickly because feeling fit and being match fit are too different things.”
Poole had been doing his initial rehabilitation with his old club Newport and wanted to thank them for helping him on the road back to fitness.
“The club’s head physio Jeremy Williams was superb as was Andrew James from Ace Feet In Motion (a Cardiff podiatric biomechanical sports injury services company).
“Money was tight then and to have people do you little favours when you are skint was so kind.
“It’s funny how life turns out – next week I was supposed to take a pest control job, but that’s off now.”
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