It’s been an amazing summer of sport which has pretty much taken over everything. With the Olympics and Paralympics dominating the TV schedules, I think everyone has really got into it. You only have to see the support the GB athletes got to see that.
People have been watching events and sports which they’d never normally watch and you can see the buzz around country, and London especially. At Harlequins, when we got back to training, we were all watching it.
Mark Lambert came in for some stick. He kept coming in wearing his replica kit and we reckon he’s got a bit of thing about Mark Cavendish, as he’s always mentioning him!
During my last year at school I did a lot of athletics. Obviously it helped my rugby, especially with the position I play, but it made watching the Games even more enjoyable. It's difficult to play other sports when you're a rugby player, so it's been good to watch them all.
As far as rugby and Quins are concerned, things are really good. The first team squad’s got off to a great start, as has the A league team. Players are realising the squad is so young and no-one is guaranteed a shirt because of the competition.
As a result, training has become more intense. Not so much in what the coaches are asking of us, but as players we’re driving it. In previous seasons you knew virtually what the match day 22s would be, but this year everyone’s waiting for the squad announcements because we’re not sure who will be picked.
From a personal point of view, I probably haven’t started quite as strong as usual. I’m getting second half run-outs at the moment, so I’ve asked the coaches at Quins if I can go back to Esher – where I was on loan last year – to get some game time under my belt and hopefully score some tries and get some confidence.
It speaks volumes about the quality at the club, when you’ve got guys like Matt Hopper, an England Saxons player, who is in the A team. When you’ve got guys of that sort of quality in your position it obviously makes it tough to get game time.
I wanted to go back to Esher rather than a Championship club because I spent last season there. They’re a great bunch of lads, a lot of them who I’ve grown up with, along with some old Leicester boys like Ollie Smith. I can focus there and just get my head down and play, which is just what I need.
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