Jake Henry admits there were times he was unsure if he’d ever get to make his Edinburgh debut after suffering a series of serious injuries.

The 23-year-old scored on his first appearance for Edinburgh on Saturday but it was a bittersweet moment as they suffered defeat to Stormers in South Africa.

His injury nightmare started with a ruptured Achilles and when he returned he spent time playing for Scotland Sevens.

He then returned to Edinburgh and a training ground accident saw him rupture his anterior cruciate ligament.

Those injuries consigned Henry to 18 months on the sidelines and he admitted there were times he struggled to cope mentally. 

Scotland Rugby News: Jake Henry has endured a torrid time with injuriesJake Henry has endured a torrid time with injuries (Image: SNS)

He said the support of his team-mates and the staff at Edinburgh helped, and was pleased to have finally made his bow for the capital club.

Henry said: “I was delighted. It’s been a long time coming, just been out for so long with so many injuries.

“After this knee injury there were a couple of times when I was worried if I’d be able to come back and perform at that level.

“But the staff and the boys around me pushed me on each day to be able to get back and that was huge. You just keep in good spirits - the boys here are massive for that.

"These big injuries can be quite dark, and having your mates around you pulling you through has been huge.

“It’s been tough, definitely. The injuries I unluckily got have been quite taxing on the body, just with what I did. But being day in, day out in that grafters group, just trying to get myself back fit, probably helped with the resilience to get back to this moment.”

Spending so long out injured meant Henry had to keep his mind occupied in other ways and he turned towards art, which is something he’s always been keen on.

He took his boots and redesigned them to show off his artistic side, and even wore a pair when he scored his try on Saturday.

It’s another part of his story that shows how much he’s had to work for his chance and really adds to the magic of his journey.

It’s not just himself he’s made boots for either, with Adam Hastings previously wearing a Gloucester-themed pair Henry designed. 

It was something that helped him get through the dark days of his injury recovery. Now he's back on the field, he has no plans to stop.

He added: “While I was out,  I customised a couple of boots - and I was wearing one of them last week. That has been pretty good for the head when I was missing out on all the stuff that I love doing. It kept me busy and helped a lot.

“I take a boot, I’ll draft up a wee design I want to put on it, and then I’ll start putting it onto the boot. 

“I did a Gloucester-themed pair for Adam Hastings. He was probably the last person I did something for - I had more free time then.

“It’s always been something that I quite like doing. This injury gave me more opportunity to do more with it." 

Henry, a recipient of Scottish Rugby's coveted MacPhail Scholarship in 2018, is now hoping to get more opportunities in an Edinburgh shirt but he knows competition is fierce with Scotland internationalist Duhan van der Merwe returning this weekend. 

Scotland Rugby News: Jake Henry was one of the MacPhail Scholarship recipients in 2018Jake Henry was one of the MacPhail Scholarship recipients in 2018 (Image: SNS)

Wes Goosen has been a stand-out performer for Sean Everitt's side this season, while Harry Paterson and Darcy Graham are recovering from injuries of their own.

After so many injury problems, Henry is just hoping to string together a run of games. 

He continued: “We’ve got a couple of ‘A’ fixtures coming up. So if I’m not playing for the main team I’ll definitely do some ‘A’ stuff and still get the rugby moments ticking over.”