Debutant “blown away” by Rapid Rugby
The Force came away with the Global Rapid Rugby Asia Showcase Series Cup after Sunday nights win against the South China Tigers, but for new recruit Ben Grant, the game was extra special.
Despite being a “mixed bag of emotions” in the lead up to his debut performance, Grant said the opportunity to run on with the Force has been heavily rewarding.
“Just the chance to go out there and be amongst it was pretty amazing, to be able to put everything we’ve covered in training to good use was really satisfying,” Grant said.
“When I got to the ground it started to feel pretty real – seeing everyone under the stands and us having all our jersey’s lined up for us ready to go. But once I got on the field it was alright, I think the nerves sort of went away but I think the build-up was a mixed bag of emotions.”
Also making his first appearance for Rapid Rugby, the 20-year-old said that it wasn’t until he got on the field that he realised how fast the new rules had sped the game up.
“After playing Rapid Rugby, I was blown away by how fast it actually is. It’s really a whole other step up again,” Grant said.
“I only played about 15 minutes and I was completely out of breath.
“It’s pretty impressive how some guys can do that for 70 minutes. I was just blown away by how quick the game actually was.”
The journey to this moment has been one that Grant has been working incredibly hard towards, and one that he believes he couldn’t have accomplished without the support of the Future Force and Cottesloe Rugby Club.
“I have to thank everyone from the Future Force Foundation and the RugbyWA Senior Academy who have been there for me over the last couple of years,” Grant said.
“And my club, Cottesloe, as well – there are quite a few people from there who have really helped me out over the years. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.”
The youngest on tour, housemate Clay Uyen took the opportunity to have a little bit of fun with the first time traveller, Grant said although it was something he was worried about in the lead-up, he can have a good laugh about it now.
“Clay took it upon himself to stitch me up knowing that it was my first tour and he told everyone in the group to convince me that the youngest on the tour has to get up in front of the bus and sing a song in front of everyone,” Grant said.
“They were all coming up and telling me that I had to sing a song in front of everyone, and I was really worried I would have to, thinking it was a tradition, but it was just a stitch up.
“I was full on stressing about what I was going to sing and was checking song lyrics hoping I wouldn’t forget them. I can laugh about it now but I was not laughing before, I was very stressed.”