CHRIS KIRWAN SAYS: Rocky road back but Mike Poole is a fighter
1:20pm Thursday 31st January 2013 in Sport
THEY say that you get what you deserve in sport, that you make your own luck.
Anyone who saw Newport Gwent Dragons wing Mike Poole being stretchered off at Rodney Parade last Saturday would find it hard to agree.
After coming back from three serious knee injuries (two right, one left), the 26-year-old faces another agonising spell on the sidelines after fracturing his ankle.
Unfortunately Poole doesn’t seem to do just niggles and will need to tap into those reserves of resilience again, finding the motivation to lift himself out of bed for yet more painful rehab.
Poole, like fellow former semi-professionals Andrew Coombs and Darren Waters, has a hunger to succeed that many more talented players are sorely lacking.
They have grafted their way to full-time deals, fueled by a desire to show that they are good enough and that they can mix it with those that have never known a life of work away from rugby.
Everything Poole has done has been with total commitment, no questions asked.
That attitude and ambition to make a big impact has sometimes been to his own detriment, only earlier this month he was throwing up in the Bayonne changing rooms at half-time after his tackle technique let him down.
He had been away with the fairies after getting his head on the wrong side yet straight from the restart he flung himself to the ground to field a loose ball.
That summed up Poole – there’s no wallowing, he dusts himself down and flies straight back into the fray.
Anybody that can go through the wringer like he has and still come firing back must be made of pretty special stuff.
I know that he hates the fact that stories often refer to his cage fighter past, yet Poole displays the characteristics of another man that’s good with his fists.
He’s like Rocky in the ring – he suffers a hammer blow, yet he comes back fighting; he suffers another hammer blow, yet he comes back fighting; he suffers yet another hammer blow, yet he comes back fighting.
One fears that the injuries will eventually take their toll but write the winger off at your peril. If anyone can come back, it's Pooley.