It has been a tricky couple of weeks after a crimson card introduced a sudden finish to my 17 years with Harlequins. Mentally, it’s been troublesome to take.
I’ve struggled and I’m nonetheless processing the truth that I’ll by no means play once more for the membership I’ve spent most of my life with. Happily, I’ve had good individuals round me to speak to, and cease me from slipping additional right into a darkish gap.
It’s a bitter tablet to swallow as a result of what occurred was not intentional and the disciplinary panel accepted that. I don’t suppose that was mirrored within the high-end 12-week sanction. Tommy Taylor accepted my apology on the spot and there’s completely no dangerous blood between us. I’m glad he was OK and was capable of proceed the sport.
My 12-week ban has been exhausting to take care of mentally after it ended my 17 years at Harlequins
The disciplinary panel acknowledged of their report that there was no intent, so I disagreed with their sanction whereas agreeing I wanted to be extra cautious.
I’ve at all times tried to play the sport in the correct method: aggressive, powerful, bodily and on the sting. I believe I’ve been an excellent ambassador for our sport so to have this on my file doesn’t sit simply.
Lots of people have been piling into me on social media and so they shortly overlook that it’s one mistake in 17 years. I deleted the Twitter app from my telephone. Have a look at the Marcus Rashford abuse within the week; it’s develop into a platform for individuals to have a pop at you and it wants extra monitoring. What occurred hurts sufficient, with out individuals abusing you on prime of that.
The disciplinary panel agree there was no intent for my stamp on Tommy Taylor however that wasn’t mirrored within the prolonged sanction
Each time I’ve had a setback in my profession, I’ve channelled the frustration on the pitch. Whether or not it’s being dropped for the World Cup after the bust-up with Ben Te’o, accidents or being instructed by Harlequins I wasn’t wanted anymore, I’ve at all times used it as a motivation.
This shall be no totally different. My subsequent problem is transferring to Newcastle and incomes my place within the crew. I’m trying ahead to working with the younger lads there and serving to them to realize their objectives with Newcastle and internationally. That’s my motivation.
It’s offered an opportunity for me to spend a while with my household and give attention to a few non-rugby issues. I’m beginning a grasp’s in sporting directorship in September so I’ve been doing loads of studying.
I have been damage by abuse on social media however fortunately good individuals have given me help
I’m focused on exploring different crew environments and a few Premier League soccer groups, Norwich and Southampton, have been sort sufficient to ask me in to share concepts.
On the coaching entrance, I’ll proceed to assist Harlequins with follow as finest I can, getting ready them within the rugby periods for the opponents they’re about to face. The membership have gotten a giant few weeks arising.
In addition to the Quins periods, I’ll be working exhausting with (dash coach) Margot Wells, utilizing this as a mini pre-season to get a head begin and be in the very best form for my Newcastle problem.