The path from Cobblers, Blues and Baggies to rugby.

Jordan Crane on the charge.

While I was growing up, it looked like football was my only way into a career in professional sport.

I got into rugby very late, whereas I was playing football practically as soon as I could walk.

That was no surprise growing up in the Crane household.

My brother Dan is two years older than me and was football-mad growing up. While my dad played a bit too and naturally pushed us towards the sport – as well as his position of goal keeper – where Dan and I both played.

I did football right through school from the age of four and would always go to football camps in the holidays and watch it on TV.

Me and Dan would always be kicking a ball around with our mates.

We trained with Northampton when we were younger and travelled there after school, making the trip from our family home in Bromsgrove.

Dan ended up signing for Coventry City when he was 14. I went there a couple of times too but when my brother got released, we both went to West Brom.

The Academy manager at the club spotted us and asked us to go down. I was under-14s at the time.

The problem with being a goalkeeper was that I would only play half a game a week, whereas outfield players would play much more.

At the age of 14, I just wanted to play with my mates and I was missing out on that being attached to one club. It was all getting a bit seriousWhen I went to high school, all of my mates played rugby and I decided to give it a go. Soon, I was playing under-18 age rugby aged 14 and loving it - I was always bigger than everyone else.

And when I was 15, I was going to Colston’s School in Bristol.

That was when I got a chance to go and have a look around Crewe FC because they were interested in signing me, it was a tough time because I had to decide what I really wanted to do.

I was enjoying my rugby so much that I decided to stick with it and I am glad I did.

And the footballing background occasionally comes in useful. That penalty kick I made in the shoot-out in the Heineken Cup semi-final win over Cardiff on 2009 was one of the most important kicks I have ever made in my life!

I miss having a knock about with the lads but the buzz I get off playing rugby is incredible and I never doubt that I have made the right decision.

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