Bath No8 Zach Mercer built at LEGO version of the Statue of Liberty to keep him “sane” during four months out of the game and signalled his return to action with a Man of the Match performance to give Bath a 22-21 at Worcester and launch his bid for an England recall.
With Eddie Jones refusing to pick Harlequins Alex Dombrandt or Exeter’s Sam Simmonds to replace the injured Billy Vunipola, of Saracens, Mercer knows there is an opportunity to play a part in the Six Nations, particularly as the England head coach gave him two caps in 2018.
Mercer had a great battle with Worcester’s Ted Hill who is part to the current England squad and will go head-to-head with Dombrandt next weekend when Bath face Quins.
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The No8 admitted the long weeks of rehabilitation work on his own to overcome the injury was tough although LEGO did provide a much-needed distraction and he was still building his greatest triumph yesterday.
He explained: “I have been a bit isolated and I had never been out for so long before but credit to the staff getting me back out there.
“I did a lot of LEGO and it kept me sane and yesterday I finished off a Statue of Liberty and that was my proudest one – the biggest one was 1,700 pieces. I think I have done five sets which has kept me entertained during the rehab process.
“I haven’t heard from Eddie (Jones) since before the World Cup and if it happens it happens. John Mitchell ( England forward coach) is the guy I speak to and if it happens it happens.
“All I can do is play well for Bath. I played against Ted Hill who is a really good player and athlete and it is Dombrandt next week and everyone knows how well he has been playing and is a World-class player. “I was a little bit nervous but when I woke up I was ready to go and played with a smile on my face.”
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