NAME – ARCHIE GRIFFIN
AGE – 18
POSITION – PROP
PREVIOUS CLUB / SCHOOL – CENTAURS RFC / MARLBOROUGH COLLEGE
WHERE DID YOU START YOUR RUGBY JOURNEY?
“I first came into the Academy when I was 13. Moving through the Academy, Mark Lilley has been the biggest inspiration to me, he has been my mentor and tutor and has given me the ins and outs and advice on scrums and around the pitch in general. Andy Rock and Ryan Davis have been hugely supportive, allowing me the space to enable my studies at school because I don’t live in Bath whilst encouraging me to work hard on the field and go forward with my rugby career.
WHO INFLUENCED YOU TO PLAY RUGBY?
"I was born in Sydney and the doctor who delivered me was called Christopher Hunt and he used to play rugby in Australia. My dad had a rugby career before it became professional and he has had a massive influence on me and pushed me down the rugby path.
"I moved to Singapore where I played for a club called the Centaurs, it was boys and girls and when it went into contact it split into boys and girls could continue playing touch. I moved to England in year eight and I didn’t really play for many clubs, I played for Marlborough. My move into the Academy came through playing in this rugby camp called Legends run by the likes of Austin Healey and Martin Johnson."
HOW DID YOU FIND THE 2018/19 SEASON?
Marlborough is a deep seeded place and prides family and tradition as it’s been a school for so long. I’ve been playing with the boys in my year and the year below for years and years, playing the same schools so you build rivalries with other schools. This year especially we have had huge success, team wise, led by Terry Gilmore.
"We managed to reach the semi-final of Schools Cup at Allianz Park. It is incredible for us and we created something I will never forget. It’s been a bit of a disappointing year because while I worked really hard to push Marlborough to be part of that team to get to the semi-final, I wasn’t able to play because I got injured. I still managed to go and be on the coaching team in a way.
"It’s really different because a lot of the boys that play in that scene already know each other, because they played with or against each other within their regions. As an exile, it’s quite difficult to get in, but with my experiences through boarding school, moving about quite a lot and touring in general I was able to fit in quite well. Allowing me to be a part of the team for the six or seven matches that I played with them."
FINDING OUT ABOUT YOUR CONTRACT
"Both my parents and I felt a big relief and pride in that achievement. Everyone in the academy is driving towards that goal, but now knowing that I’ve achieved it, it has to be followed by hard work and determination to go further because it’s not the only thing I want to achieve. There is a lot more that I want to achieve throughout my rugby career with Bath."
KEY AMBITIONS FOR NEXT SEASON
"When I first come in, I want to put myself out there and prove my worth and eligibility to be there, why I got the contract. I also want to become part of the team, because I don’t live in Bath, I need to ground myself somewhere. I’d like to be teammates and friends with all of them and hopefully play in some A-League games that year and make it into the U20s world squad that year as well.
"As someone who is coming in very young I’ve got so much to learn and I think it would be a wasted opportunity not to seek out help from these players who have achieved so much already. Seeing them around Farleigh, they are all so accepting and friendly to me so it makes me more excited to gain knowledge from them and get started."
WHO ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO LEARNING OFF?
"I will be looking up to players like Taulupe Faletau and Jamie Roberts, because they possess power and strength when going into contact, and that is something I feel I have in my own game. I’ve seen them on the TV quite a bit so I’d like to get to play with them. Also Miles Reid, when I had my first training session with Bath Rugby at 13, he was 16 and one of the few boys to be quite nice to me, he allowed me to make mistakes and support me."
NAHUM MERIGAN ON ARCHIE GRIFFIN -
“He has always been a physical player, he has natural ability and talent. He is a really strong ball carrier, he works hard in defence and makes big tackles. He gets himself around the park well and scrummages really well, it’s unbelievable some of the shapes and positions a guy of his shape can get into. Most importantly, Archie’s commitment is testament to himself as a player and a person and I think that he will elevate those qualities in senior rugby."