When did you start playing rugby, at what junior club and what position do you play.
I started playing rugby when I was 8 for the South West Rocks Gaolers (now defunct) up on the mid north coast. My position was a goal kicking fullback.
WRC believe that our Sponsors, Supporters and our Players are our finest assets. They are characterised by qualities such as loyalty, commitment and generosity which make the strong foundation of our ‘family’. Who do you feel showcases the Club’s core values and why?
I think someone like Josh Holmes showcases these characteristics. He’s been around the club since he was kid and followed that pathway through to Super Rugby level and Aussie 7’s, and his commitment to the club and team is demonstrated every time he steps on the field to train or play. He passes on his knowledge and experiences to others which is what will continue to make the club stronger.
To date, what is your greatest achievement you are most proud of? On or off the field.
Off the field – marrying my beautiful wife Jess :). On the field – winning the Shute Shield with Rats in 2017.
What was your experience like playing rugby in Japan as an expat. Would you recommend this to upcoming Rats players? How did you evolve as a prop rugby player during this time?
My rugby experience in Japan was frustrating – it’s a very different mentality and approach to the game which was difficult to get my head around, and because of this, it wasn’t very enjoyable. Would I recommend upcoming Rats players to go? I guess it depends on what they’re wanting to achieve and get out of the experience. For me, and the time of my career it was a good decision for my wife and I. The experience of Japan as a country was amazing, and we had the opportunity to do a fair amount of travelling which was awesome. In terms of evolving as a prop whilst in Japan, I don’t think I’ve ever had to get so low to pack a scrum before!
Tell us about Scrum Strong and how this came into formation.
Scrum Strong is our business name which encompasses all things relating to the scrum. The book Scrum Science came about out of frustration on how our club was coaching the scrum. It started out as me just venting to my computer (because Jess was sick of hearing it)! I thought “if you were to teach the scrummaging fundamentals from the ground up, what would that look like”, and before too long, there was 120 pages of it!
In February 2019, you launched your book “Neck Protech” what was your motivation in writing your second book and why.
Neck Protech came about after a series of life-changing spinal injuries in Australia last year. There’s no program in place, particularly for junior players on the importance of training the neck for injury prevention. Together with Sam Ward, Scott Hoare and Dr David Steven, we put together this program to help reduce the risk of a spinal injury on the field.
Lastly, what excites you most about the 2019 season?
What excites me the most about the 2019 season is how close the competition is. Everyone is beating everyone, and the ladder is so tight. It’s great to see that no one is safe from anyone, and there’s no easy games.
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