RUGBY UNION: Balding's here for long haul

Adam Balding in action for London Welsh

Adam Balding in action for London Welsh

First published in Sport Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

ADAM Balding is playing his 15th season of professional rugby, but he has no plans to retire just yet.

The experienced back-row forward joined London Welsh last month, making his debut in their LV Cup defeat to Exeter Chiefs.

Balding, who turns 33 next week, has played for Leicester, Gloucester, Leeds, Newcastle and Worcester – and is now eyeing another four years in the game.

“I have been doing it for 15 years and I don’t want to finish yet,” said Balding, who starts at No 8 at home to London Irish today.

“I am in good shape and I would like to keep playing for as long as I can.

“Hopefully, I can do another three or four years if I can stay fit.

“I am enjoying my rugby again, which is really what you want.”

Balding joined Newcastle on loan last season and was part of their side, who were relegated from the Premiership.

He described his time out between then and coming on trial to Welsh this autumn as partly to rest, but also due to contract issues.

Now he is back in the sport, Balding has slotted straight in again.

“It is good to get into it again after having a bit of a break,” he said.

“They are a great bunch of lads and there is a good atmosphere.”

There is no doubt Welsh’s solid pack have been the cornerstone of their success this season and Balding is relishing being part of that.

He said: “Rugby is a simple game really. We seem to be doing the basics well and that gives us a platform to build on.

“We work hard for each other and that is the key.”

Looking ahead to today’s clash with London Irish, Balding says the equation is simple.

“Everyone is aware that we’ve got to win our home games and pick up points where we can on the road,” he said.

“We are at home this week and we need to win.

“Each team presents different challenges and we know the areas that we need to focus on for this week.”

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