How are you keeping yourself busy during lockdown? Have Bath given you some gym kit to stay active and fit?
I’ve been working out and running a lot. Bath gave us all some gym kit, so I’ve been staying busy during the day staying in shape. I’ve also recently been playing some golf which is always a good laugh, the weather has generally been alright, so I am trying to stay as active as possible.
You’ve recently finished your first season with the England Under 20’s. How did you find it? Did you feel comfortable in the environment from the get-go?
Really enjoyed my first season with the Under 20’s. It’s a shame I’ve only got one year due to how the selection process works. Going into camps I was nervous at first, as you’re playing with the best players in the county at your age, but once you get to know the boys it’s really easy. It’s a shame about the results, but I learnt a huge amount from the camps, meetings, and the games themselves.
Having studied at KES Bath, have you always wanted to play for Bath Rugby? Did you have any interest in going elsewhere?
I’ve always been a Bath Supporter, my dad played for Bath and straight away I had that connection. KES was great for me as being a local school in Bath, location of training wasn’t a problem. I feel very content at Bath for now.
Having made your first team debut for Bath Rugby at such a young age. How did you cope with the added pressure of being tipped as a future star? Did you embrace it?
I actually didn’t really feel the pressure. I just looked at my debut like any other game. But I know I have areas of my game I need to improve on, so my debut was very much just the start of my journey. I went well in the game, and really enjoyed the experience.
Have you enjoyed your first professional season at Bath? As a centre yourself, has working with the likes of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Joseph improved your game?
For my rookie season I’ve had some awesome players around me. The ‘Doc’ Jamie Roberts was class defensively, along with JJ who is a superb all round player. Obviously in the men’s game your decision making must be sharper and more precise, they helped me a huge amount on this. In attack, the likes of Max Clark and Max Wright have given me tips and ideas that I am really grateful for. Now Cameron Redpath is involved and we get on really well and bounce ideas of each other. I’m always looking to improve and by talking to other players is a great way to do that.
You’ve just finished your first year studying at Bath University. While also playing BUCS Super Rugby. How did you manage to balance your academics with your rugby? Was it hard at first?
It was actually really hard. Playing BUCS, professional rugby and doing my degree was a lot harder than I expected. But fortunately, I had a decent amount of time for my assignments, therefore I didn’t rush through my work. I have not been able to attend all lectures due to rugby commitments, so it seemed like an online degree at first. However, Bath University have been great at giving me advice and understanding my commitments with Bath Rugby and England at the time. I’m now just finishing off my first-year exams, which all seem a little strange. But I’m hoping for the best!
This interview was conducted by Tom Pittman, a member of The S Word.