EIRA (Eagle Impact Rugby Academy) is a rugby academy spanning the full breadth of the USA (and exiles) to identify and grow rugby talent with the aim of bridging the gap by providing young players with the opportunity to compete internationally.
The EIRA head coach had been sent a rugby highlight reel by the sports management company I had recently signed with to help me explore US college scholarships, and thankfully he thought I’d fit in.
The Spain tour was a whirlwind of training, making new rugby friends and playing my first international fixture, plus my 16th Birthday.
Once back from Spain, the rugby kit was washed and re packed as we headed off to California on a family holiday, which included two rugby camps.
California is where my mum's family are from, so there was a little bit of visiting and sightseeing, but whilst there it was a good opportunity to get a feel for college life in the US, and how rugby can fit into that.
The first camp was at UCLA, which is an amazing campus close to Bel Air and Beverley Hills. The head coach is an ex professional MLR player so it was great to get to meet him and also make a load of new connections with lads from all over the world that had come to the camp.
The second camp was at Berkeley University which is such an iconic campus. The Berkeley coach has led the rugby program there for over 30 years and the squad have had incredible success during that time. Their Witter Rugby Field sits next to the incredible Cal Bears football stadium which has a capacity of 63,000! Whilst there I caught up with several of the EIRA lads I had met in Spain who were also on the camp.
Both camps gave the opportunity to have a tour of the facilities and a discussion with the admissions departments. College (University) there seems quite different to the UK but the emphasis they give to sport and in particular the growth of rugby is what I find really interesting. I am looking forward to finding out what opportunities there may be there for me.
Before I came to St David's College I wasn't even very interested in rugby but through the help of Mr Lycett and Ross, I've found a passion for the sport and discovered I'm quite good at it.