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Player profile - Tom Heathcote

6 March 2012

Position: Fly Half

Date of birth: 11th Feb 1992

Height: 1.79m (5' 10")

Weight: 89kg (14st 0lb)

Since making his debut at Kingsholm earlier this year, Academy fly-half has gone from strength to strength, making 17 appearances to date.

Brave in defence and assured in attack, Tom's maturity and calmness under pressure have impressed coaches and supporters alike so far this season, especially when taking place kicks, as he did at Exeter last weekend. He's scored 100 points so far this season, including six in a row against Glasgow Warriors at Firhill in the Heineken Cup, a huge achievement considering he was 19 at the time!

He was also called up to represent the England U20's in this season's 6 Nations tournament, and although duties here at Bath haven't seen him appear regularly, he featured in the first game, helping them to a 59-3 victory over Scotland at Firhill.

We thought we'd catch up with Tom and see how he's found the season so far...

How did your rugby career begin?

"I started playing when I was about 5 years old at Salisbury Rugby Club, up until I was about 16, whilst playing for my school as well. I started out playing scrum-half until I was about 11, then moved to fly-half."

You've obviously played a lot of rugby so far this season, did you expect that at the beginning of the year?

"Not at all. I have been really happy with how this sesason has gone so far for me, it has far exceeded what I expected! To play so regularly and get so much game time has been great, and not something I thought would happen at the start of the year.

"I think my highlight so far would probably be the Leicester Tigers game at home. It was only my second ever first team game, so to be part of a win over the Tigers at that stage was great."

The Academy have been training with the first team full time – how have you found it?

"Training with the first team from the start of pre-season has been very beneficial, and helped my development significantly. I have learnt a lot from the coaches and other players in that time, as have all the Academy guys in the same situation."

You spend a lot of extra time working on your kicking don't you?

"As a kicker, I feel it's important for me to stay out and get some extra practice in, and it's nice to have other people to do it with. Both Olly (Barkley) and Steve (Donald) are very experienced players and have given me useful advice kicking wise, and in general."

You've also been involved with the U20's this year, how's that been?

"Due to commitments here, I've not been able to play that much, but it's been a really good experience and something I've always wanted to do, so I was honoured when I got the call up."

Moving away from rugby matters, you're currently studying for a degree aren't you?

"I'm studying Politics with Economics here at Bath Uni. I always enjoyed Economics in school, but wasn't good at Maths to do straight Economics, so had to do a split course!

"For most of the year it is nice to have something else to focus on and take my mind off rugby, however during exam season it is very stressful and busy so it makes it quite hard but that is only for a few weeks each year!"

And in terms of relaxing, we've heard you're quite a keen piano player?

"Yes I like to dabble! My repertoire on the piano is currently small but steadily growing!"

 

Quickfire Q&A from our Facebook and Twitter followers:

Who would play you in a film of your life? Cam Gigandet (The O.C and Twilight)

Which player did you most admire when you were younger? Jonny Wilkinson

What is your matchday breakfast? Bagel and a protein shake

If you were stranded on a desert island, which team mate would you take with you and why? Ben Mosses – we can't live without each other!

Who would captain your rugby dream team? Brian O'Driscoll

If you could have one super power what would it be? The power to fly

What is the best piece of advice you've been given? Hard work can achieve anything

If you knew the world was about to end, what would you do? Well, if I had my super power I could fly away!

If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you bought? A house in the Crescent and one in Farleigh.

What other position would you like to have played? Fullback

Who has been the toughest opponent you've come up against?  Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu

Who do you think will win the 6 Nations? Wales

If you had to take part in karaoke, what would you sing and who would be your back up? Superbass by Nicki Minaj with Olly Woodburn

What is your favourite sport other than rugby? Basketball

What three things would you save if your house was one fire? iPhone, Laptop and car keys

 

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