‘No matter what happens, I’m always going to be the same’: Ross to ‘never forget the good times’

Ross is taking the chance that he’ll get to play again this year after a decade of retirement to be positive about the chances of a return.

Ross said: “It’s going to come down to how long I can play and if I can be fit, but if I’m going to get back to playing, I’ve got to be prepared for it.”

Ross, who has played for England since 2003, has a lengthy injury history and is hoping to have his injury-free career resume restored in time for the 2019 World Cup.

But the 49-year-old, who also spent five years in charge of Ireland at the start of the Six Nations in 2014, has no plans to rush back to the game.

Ross admitted he was surprised by how long he had been retired from international rugby and that his “career in rugby is over”.

“I wasn’t really expecting to be back playing for Ireland for so long, especially for my first year as captain,” he said.

“It was a really difficult time, I don’t know if it was too much of a shock, but it’s something I never thought would happen.”