10:00am Friday 18th May 2012
By Stuart Amos
If Quins winger Ugo Monye steps out in the Premiership final next weekend it will have taken a near worldwide effort and a little divine intervention to get there.
The 29-year-old star, recently recalled to the full England squad for the summer tour to South Africa, pulled a hamstring in the 43-33 defeat to Leicester Tigers at the Stoop last month.
Monye remains a doubt to take his place in director of rugby Conor O’Shea’s line-up for next week’s clash with Leicester Tigers, but takes comfort from the fact England defender Gary Cahill is likely to play for Chelsea in tomorrow’s Champions League final.
He remained in the UK this week, as his team-mates enjoyed a few days in Abu Dhabi, in an attempt to ensure he can grab his chance of a lifetime.
And the British & Irish Lion admitted he will leave no stone unturned to end the season in style with Quins and his country.
“When I first did it I panicked. I was told it would be eight weeks and I didn’t have that because it would have meant missing the play-offs and the South Africa tour,” he said.
“I was watching television two or three days later and Gary Cahill seemed to do the same thing with Chelsea in the Champions League.
“I got on the phone to Chelsea and asked what he was doing because whatever he was doing to get fit I was going to do the same.
“Conor O’Shea researched guys in Ireland, Europe, abroad and people in the NFL in America.
“I had my mum on the phone praying for me on the way to training. We’ve literally left no stone unturned.
“If I get to the point where I’m fit for the final, I’ll know the hard work I did to get there. I’ll want to make it worthwhile.
“These are games you play for I’ve waited 10 and a half years to get to this position and I don’t want it to pass me by.”
Monye, who has five tries to his name this term, missed two months earlier in the season with an ankle injury, but has returned to form in time to impress England head coach Stuart Lancaster.
The Islington-born former Quins academy graduate starred for the Lions in South Africa in 2009.
And he is confident he can repeat the trick for his country this summer.
“I’m really chuffed with my form at the moment. I’m excited to get back in the mix and there is a bit of nostalgia going back to South Africa,” added Monye.
“I don’t think it is an impossible task. They are experienced, physical and passionate, but they are everything I expect the England team to be.
“The guys have been together in the Six Nations and acquitted themselves very well.
“It is a massive task, but we have every belief we’ll be well prepared and able to put on a good show for everyone travelling over there.”
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