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I owe so much to Tottonians, says Bath rugby ace
AS he stands on the threshold of an exciting career with Bath and possibly England, David Sisi is quick to credit Tottonians RFC for their role in his development.
The 20-year-old donated one of his England shirts to the Water Lane club when he returned to watch the recent British & Irish Lions v Australia decider, within a week of winning the Junior World Cup with England.
“That club’s played a huge part in my life, I was there for four years from the age of 11 before getting picked up by London Irish,” he said.
“It was humbling to go back where it all started and see guys who have been there for me since day one, like the head coach Gavin Williams and Jeff Rawlins, who runs the colts.
“My love of sport was born at Totts and I question whether I’d be where I am now if it wasn’t for them.
“It was as good a grounding as I could have had.
“I was also really fortunate to have enthusiastic people behind me at Hounsdown School in Scott Bryant and Stuart McGhee.”
Saints fan Sisi hopes the Lions’ success leads to rugby boom.
“I really enjoyed soccer camps and was a goalkeeper for West Totton Wanderers, but being a bit bigger and slower, I was more suited as a rugby forward.
“I soon got the rugby bug and like to think the game can become bigger down here.
“People are really taking an interest and I hope that continues.
“I even saw someone wearing a Bath top in Totton recently, which was a first. “I’m taking it as an omen!”
Sisi’s former London Irish teammate Nick Kennedy, who comes from Lymington, won the Heineken Cup with Toulon this year, while England winger Mike Brown, a former Peter Symonds College boy, was also born in Southampton, as was Leicester centre Anthony Allen, formerly of Trojans RFC.
“We’ve got big clubs locally and if schools push it like Hounsdown did when I was there, I like to think there’ll be good players coming through,” added Sisi.
David Sisi double page interview in this weekend’s Sports Pink, on sale today.
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