Lion focussed on the Tigers

2009 Lions star Tom Croft insists he is a long way off a return to the England shirt after playing his first game in three months. [more]

Lion focussed on the Tigers

2009 Lions star Tom Croft insists he is a long way off a return to the England shirt after playing his first game in three months.

Croft has not played since fracturing his shoulder against South Africa in November. But he returned to action as a second-half replacement for Leicester against Wasps on Saturday.

But despite his return to fitness Croft is solely focussed on getting back to his best with the Tigers.

"England have kept in touch with my recovery but playing hasn't come into it," said Croft.

"My objective is to get a starting spot at Leicester and get some form back. It's great to play for your country but my main priority is playing for Leicester.

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"This is the team that has got me to where I am and I need to get back to the game I had before the injury.

"It's good to be back playing. It's been a long time in recovery. The last time I played was against South Africa at the end of November so it's is a long time to be injured.

"The strength and conditioning staff have got me back in reasonably good nick. Hopefully I will get a bit more time next week and get the lungs back."

Croft is likely to continue his recovery against Sale on Friday as Leicester look to extend their lead at the top of the Aviva Premiership table.

"Hopefully I'll have some sort of involvement again on Friday whether it's from the start or from the bench and just keep improving my game in terms of fitness and getting back to playing rugby.

"It's been hard over the last couple of months watching Leicester go well in the back row and watching England go well in the back row as well. I was thinking about hanging my boots up!"

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