UWA product Clay Uyen is one of nine new members of the Future Force Foundation for 2017 and the outside back has taken his game to new heights since joining the program.
Captain of the Road Safety Western Force U20s, Uyen has starred in the Super U20s Championship to earn selection in the BMW Australian U20s squad in the lead up to this year's World Championship.
We sat down with the WA young gun last week to learn a bit more about him and get his thoughts on the Future Force Foundation so far.
Name: Clay Uyen
Position: Outside Back
Clay, how have you found your experience with the Future Force Foundation so far?
It has been full on, including the U20’s, but I’ve found that I’ve got so much out of it in such a short amount of time.
What is the best thing you’ve learnt in the program so far?
Just about how the system works, the whole hierarchy with the Force and where we come into it. I had no idea until I was exposed to it I guess. The way that it works all the way from Super Rugby all the way down to club, how it involves the CEO and coaches and how it all links together.
What do you think your biggest strengths are as a player?
I’d like to say my speed and footwork, but I suppose other people give me noise for it. I love to get around players and beat them one-on-one and I’ve got a bit of mongrel so that’s always handy.
Which current international player do you look up to or you model your game on and why?
I would go with Drew Mitchell, he’s played a lot of rugby at all different levels and different clubs all over the world and just the way he travels and still maintains to be such a good bloke and player, he’s pretty inspiring.
What are your rugby goals for 2017 and ultimate career aspirations?
In 2017 I want to make the Australian 20s camp and then from there the squad. I then want to make my debut by the end of this year.
Which Western Force player have and can you learn the most from at training or around the club?
Marcel Brache he’s such a book of knowledge and he always has such a good relationship with the guys who are younger then him because he’s so social. He’s probably the best one I’d target to pick his brain and ask him questions and he’s such a go-to.
How has Steve Anderson’s coaching methods helped you develop since you arrived?
It’s very different but growing up in WA you learn how brutal a coach he is and he is definitely that. They have a standard and they expect a lot from you which is good because you come up to that standard and they don’t except anything less. I found a lot of the other guys were really shocked by his different coaching style but I’ve found that the development programme in WA is actually quite similar to the way he coaches.
Are you pursuing anything outside of rugby?
I love cars so I did have a bit of a look into mechanical engineering in my second year at UWA. I want to build fast ones basically, I’d love to get on the formula one circuit as an engineer and have a say in what’s next in the automotive industry. But other than that, professional singing, dancing and surfing…
What is your favourite thing to do on a day off?
It would be to find a sand dune and drive all over it 4WDing. I’d take a surf board with me and a pack up BBQ and just get out of the city.