Tom James: Cardiff Blues wing to start friendly after depression battle

Tom James
In two spells at Cardiff Blues, Tom James has so far made 162 appearances, scoring 60 tries

Wales wing Tom James will return to rugby action with Cardiff Blues on Saturday after battling depression.

The 31-year-old took an extended break from playing last year to receive treatment, and is now working to raise awareness of mental health in sport.

"It has been a hugely challenging period but it is great to be around the boys again," said James.

The Blues host Leicester Tigers in a pre-season friendly at the Arms Park.

James, who has not played professional rugby since December 2017, said he has been "absolutely overwhelmed" by the support he received from the Blues, as well as his friends and family.

"It has meant a huge amount to me and is something I will forever be grateful," the 12-capped international said.

"It is great to be around the boys once again, the camaraderie and support they have shown me has been something else.

"It will be great to go up against Leicester, which will be a big test both personally and collectively. I'm just looking forward to playing rugby once again."

James added he was determined to raise the awareness of mental well-being and help breakdown any remaining stigmas within sport.

"It is okay to say you are not okay. It is okay to talk," he said.