rugby

 

My rugby career never really amounted to what I imagined it would. When you're a young player in a Premiership academy, trialling for England age group teams and training with full time professionals then that's how you think it'll go. One of my old teammates quit the minute he realised that he was never going to be good enough to play for England. This is not that uncommon!

What rugby did do for me to a far greater extent than I ever thought is give me friends on every continent. The friendships and memories that it's given me are nothing short of spectacular.

I played for and captained my school team and was spotted to join the Bath Academy where I ended up training with the first team on my gap year. I then went to university where I ended up captaining the team there alongside playing for the Newcastle Falcons Academy and Blaydon RFC.

Through playing for these teams I experienced a great mix of the privately educated, the barely educated, the south and the north and had to learn to navigate and appreciate these different people. You're just another player when you're on the field but off it you need to adapt to survive!

One of my biggest disappointments was never playing age group rugby for England. I was selected for England Students during my studies but had just sustained a hamstring tear which ruled me out of all of the games.

After university I signed my first full time professional contract with Plymouth Albion and spent two seasons on the south coast. I then had a year in Sydney playing part time before returning to the southwest of England with the Cornish Pirates.

The last four years of my career were spent in France. It was largely fantastic as I learned French, helped to build an ambitious project in a non-traditional rugby area and explored Europe in our many free weekends.

I've moved on from full-time rugby but now avail myself of the odd charity game or day long tournaments where I can play again with my school and university friends over 10 years since we last took the field together. The sport continues to bring me joy and cement my friendships, as it has done from the age of seven.

I'm working on a book about my experiences which is almost finished! Sign up to my email list for news on its progress. If you want to get in touch then the best thing to do is to send me an email or you can find my social channels below.