Reaching for a vase in the pantry should be a simple assignment ... Napier Old Boys Marist rugby fullback Liam Edwards is fed up with the reminders.

It was one of those reaches in April last year after just four weeks of play in the Nash Cup which cost Edwards the remainder of the season.

"I tried to stop the vase from smashing and it dropped on my foot and severed the main tendon between my knee and toe. It sliced it in half. I still can't believe it happened and there was a bit of soul searching when it first happened," Edwards recalled.

There was three hours of surgery to reattach it and stitch it up. A six-week stint in a cast was followed by another six-weeks in a moon boot.


"I had three to four months of rehab and I've been training hard for the last couple of months. They say it's a nine to 12-month recovery for this injury so it might be a little touch and go but we'll see what happens," Edwards said as he pondered Maurice Trapp Group NOBM's assault on the 16-team Wavell Wakefield Middlesex County Cup national club sevens at Auckland's Eden club tomorrow.

"I'm feeling the best I have ever felt. I've been doing a lot of speed work and I'm almost back to full speed," Edwards explained.

The 26-year-old former South Canterbury rep, who moved to the Bay in 2014, is eager to help NOBM improve on last year's second placing. Host club and defending champions Eden beat NOBM 24-14 in last year's final.

Edwards was one of several experienced NOBM players who missed the tournament because they were attending forward Sean Skeet's wedding.

"Our main goal this year is to try to get the Maddison Trophy [NOBM were beaten 37-7 by Clive in last year's final] back. But for me it's important I get out there and take things week by week. If I can stay injury free and can play most games it will feel like I'm helping the boys out again," Edwards said.

The McFall Fuel salesman and father-of-two admitted it was tough watching the team play last year and not being able to help.

"As a team we had a lot of injuries last year and crucial players picked up regular injuries.

"In Auckland this weekend we will have enough speed, skill and size to do well. It's important to stick to what we know and give the ball to the players who benefit the team," Edwards said.

He agreed Magpies winger Michael Buckley will be a key weapon. Edwards pointed out making the Magpies squad is still his long-term goal.

"I just have to train hard, stay injury free and play a bit smarter."

Should Edwards crack the Magpies in the next season or two it would be an appropriate end to remarkable comeback for the gutsy player who made rapid progress with his defensive reads and decision making during the 2016 and '17 seasons.

NOBM will be missing four key players, all of whom were Hawke's Bay Sevens reps at the December nationals in Tauranga.

Forward Ricky Hayes and sweeper Zac Donaldson are in camp with an Auckland Invitation team preparing for the Bangkok 10s, speedster Saia Paese is attending his grandmother's funeral in Samoa and fellow speedster Mitch Drew was a late withdrawal this week.

"They are four of our best players but we're still aiming for a berth in the final," coach Craig Gowler said.

In Hayes' absence Pouvi Fatialofa and Matt Gardner will become the kingpins at the coalface.

In Buckley and the likes of Dan Sharplin and Edwards there is no shortage of pace.

NOBM will take a squad of 11 players, one less than the 12 permitted. Last year NOBM finished second with 10 players after two late withdrawals.

NOBM, the only Hawke's Bay team at the event, will meet Pakuranga at 10am, Feilding at 12.40pm and Awanui at 3pm in tomorrow's pool games at Gribblehirst Park.

This will be the premier team's final sevens tournament of the summer before switching to 15s mode.

The Napier Old Boys Marist team for this weekend is: 1 Pouvi Fatialofa, 2 Jack Nelson-Murray, 3 Matt Gardner, 4 Luke Donaldson, 5 Johnny Lauano, 6 Liam Edwards, 7 Michael Buckley, 9 Sammi Lauano, 10 Migao Lauano, 11 Te Kahika Thompson, 12 Dan Sharplin.