On Saturday as London Irish put pay to Harleqins ambitions of reaching the Guinness Premiership Final, Quins winger Ugo Monye showed the type of commitment and determination that has earned him his rightful place in the British & Irish Lions squad to tour South Africa.
“People asked me if I dreamt of getting selected for the Lions,” said Monye. “I’m not sure that dreams can take you that far. It’s nuts, it’s crazy. I’d got a holiday sorted to America but that can get cancelled.
“Without doubt, it’s been my most fulfilling season. The best thing now would be to go away with some success behind me. I don’t want to be wrapped in cotton wool. You want to keep your form sharp, and be playing in big games. It’s good for your confidence.”
Monye proved his worth for England this season in the two Six Nations matches that he took part in, with his tackle on Thom Evans being a stand out example of the mans work rate.
“If there’s one thing that’s improved this season it’s my defence,” said Monye. “A lot of wings have got the ability to run fast, beat players and all that. I’m not sure every wing has got a solid defence. So, I’ve worked hard on that aspect. It’s about positioning and awareness.”
Monye is lucky to have walked away from this horrific looking fall unscathed on the weekend after he went up for a high ball and was upended by his opposite number Adam Thompstone.
He landed with his full weight on the back of his neck, causing alarm for spectators, players and medical staff. Incredibly, Monye stood up after a few minutes and played on, showing no signs of injury whatsoever.
Look out for the rapid winger on the hard and fast surfaces of South Africa later this month with the British & Irish Lions. He’s sure to have a huge impact.