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Profile - Olly Woodburn

14 February 2012

Position - Wing

Height - 1.91m

Weight - 94.5kg

Date of Birth - 18.11.1991

The Bath Rugby Academy wing has burst onto the scene this season, with his strong, consistent performances catching the eye of many. He's also shown his superb finishing skills – his first try for the Club came on his debut against Newport Gwent Dragons within minutes of kick-off.

As the Academy have trained with the first team since pre-season, the benefits for both the young players such as Olly, and the Club are clear, with as many as 11 Academy players being used in first team games this season.

We sat down with Olly to find out a little bit more about the electric winger...

You must be pleased with how the season has gone for you so far – has it been what you expected? 

"Definitely not! We set some goals at the beginning of the season, and mine were to hopefully get an appearance in an LV= Cup game, and just perform well in the A league for United. Now I'm making my 14th appearance – it's been amazing!"

How long have you been playing rugby for?

"My dad first took me to Whitehall when I was about 5, but it was pouring with rain and freezing cold so I didn't really like it! We tried again when I was 6, at Keynsham. I remember playing against Walcot, scoring a couple of tries, and have been playing since!

"I played for Keynsham until I was about 15, and then started playing at County and Division level and got picked for the Bath development squad from there. I was also awarded a Scholarship to go to Sixth Form at Colston's in Bristol. The likes of Jack Tovey and George Watkins, who are both at Bristol now, were the year above me, and I remember playing against George North and Manu Tuilagi. I played outside centre then, but have always been able to switch onto the wing – never set foot in the pack though!"

The Academy players have been training with the first team since the beginning of the season – how do you think that has helped your development?

"I think it's massively helped all of us. It was a bit daunting stepping out onto the training pitch with the senior guys for the first time – I remember I didn't collect a high ball and Lewis Moody quickly let me know it wasn't the standard expected, so we all learnt quickly that you have to bring everything to every training session. The skill and pace they train at really helps us all develop, and prepare for if and when we get a chance to play for the first team.

"All the senior guys are really quick to help out and give advice with plays and positions if you need it, during training, or a game, or even off the field. I know I could approach any of them with a question, from 1-15, and they'd be willing to help."

What would you say has been your highlight of the season so far?

"There's so many! I guess probably my first start, against Dragons in the LV= Cup, scoring within a few minutes was great, as it was completely unexpected and set my season rolling. I've scored a few tries so far, and the one against Montpellier in the Heineken Cup at the Rec was a great feeling."

Moving away from rugby, what can we find you doing in your downtime?

"I'm a bit of a nerd to be honest – play a lot of Playstation! I've got a bit of a rep in the Club for loving Call of Duty! I enjoy getting out and about in Bath as well – it's such a lovely place to wander around and get coffee with the boys.

"I was due to study Marketing at UWIC, but deferred a year when I got the email from Frank (Butler, Academy Manager) offering me a place in the Academy. I had a gap year so decided to give it a crack, and put off uni as I just wanted to focus everything on my rugby. I'm still interested in the business world, and I'd love to have a go at property development. Hopefully, once I've settled a bit, I'll be able to get some work experience, but at the moment I just want to give rugby my all."

 

Quickfire Q&A:

Who would play you in a film of your life? Either Will Smith or Denzel Washington

Which player did you most admire when you were younger? Tana Umaga

What is your matchday breakfast? Cheese Omlette

If you were stranded on a desert island, which team mate would you take with you and why? Sam Vesty – He's good outdoors, resourceful and entertaining!

Who would captain your rugby dream team? Francois Louw

If you could have one super power what would it be? Super intelligence

What is the best piece of advice you've been given? Let the rugby do the talking

If you knew the world was about to end, what would you do? Spend it with my family, have a roast dinner!

If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you bought? A tropical island

What other position would you like to have played? Outside centre

Who has been the toughest opponent you've come up against?  Manu Tuilagi – came up against him at school

Who do you think will win the 6 Nations? France

If you hadn't been a rugby player what would you have done? I'd be attempting to study and playing Call of Duty

If you had to take part in karaoke, what would you sing and who would be your back up? Don't Stop Believing, with the whole team as a choir for backing

What is your favourite sport other than rugby? I like to play and watch Tennis

 

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