For Bath Rugby Academy’s Archie Griffin, his professional debut for the club was a long time coming.
Having risen through the Blue, Black and White and now starring for the University of Bath, the tighthead prop’s opportunities to debut at senior level for Bath have been reduced due to injury.
But the dream he had been working towards for several years came true at Exeter Chiefs in the Premiership Rugby Cup on 26 November 2022. It was a significant moment in his young career to date.
Throughout the trials and tribulations of working towards that first appearance, Archie had been set a challenge by fellow front row Tom Dunn.
A previous mullet extraordinaire, Dunnie challenged Archie to keep his mullet growing until his senior debut which has taken a lot of perseverance from a mental and physical perspective.
His mane is now at length where he can make a difference to those who need it most. Archie will be cutting his locks off – or rather Dunnie will be doing it for him! – later in December and donating the hair to the Little Princess Trust.
Archie has also set up a JustGiving page with donations to be split between the Little Princess Trust and LooseHeadz.
He explained why:
“After persevering both mentally and physically through multiple injuries and other challenges, it has taken me nearly three and a half years to make that all important appearance.
“Due to the length of time, the hair has also become long enough to be able to be donated to the Little Princess Trust organisation. The money donated to this fundraiser will be split between the Little Princess Trust organisation and LooseHeadz reflecting the physical and mental journey I have been on.
“As I have now made my debut, Tom Dunn - given it was he who set the challenge - will be cutting my hair on 16 December, with the hair being donated to the Little Princess Trust who will use the locks to create wigs for children who have lost their hair.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported me on my rugby journey to this point and to those who have kindly donated.”