While it has undoubtedly been a good season for London Irish, with only a couple of games resulting in a loss and the team putting on some dominant displays toward the end of the league campaign, not every player can be involved week in and week out. We caught up with Harry Elrington to chat about what it is like being outside the team, returning from injury and the ways he keeps himself focused when he’s not involved.
Hey Harry, it’s good to catch up with you after you’ve just started for the team in the last league game of the season. How did you find it?
It was alright. I hadn’t started for ages so it was nice to get a run out on the last day of the season. There was a big crowd too, which was good and it being on TV was a bonus so my family could watch it.
One of the topics we’ve covered a lot over the course of these interviews is dealing with being outside the matchday squad. How do you deal with it?
Just trying to train hard and get better as an individual rather than focusing on whether you’re playing or not. Obviously it’s frustrating but after Monday you know whether you’re likely to be in the team or not so you can crack on with your own things, make yourself a better rugby player, rather than just focusing on team selection.
If you get better as a player you’re going to end up playing. That’s the way I look at it, straight down the line.
Looking at your strengths, you’re a mobile, agile front row player, does that perhaps play better into the open games in the Prem than the attritional style of play in the Champ?
I hope so, I enjoy playing so next year if I get opportunities I’ll look to do that! I’ve really enjoyed this year even though I haven’t played as much as I like. It’s been good, really good culture.
You’ve been keeping yourself busy with Rugby Grub too…
Yeah, myself and Theo created it last August, so it’s nearly been a year now. It’s gone from strength to strength. We’ve grown at quite a fast rate, we’ve just started a nutrition course, which will finish next may. That’ll help us long term, it’s nice to do some education.
It seems to have grown from a hobby into something much bigger.
Definitely! We’ve had a few businesses approach us to do certain things which is really exciting! It’s still early on, we’re still trying to find out exactly what we want to make the business into, but I’m really enjoying having something positive outside of rugby.
As we’re pretty much at the end of the season now are you looking forward to getting some time away from the sport?
Yeah, just to mentally refresh myself. It’s been quite a long season, quite a tough season for me having been injured in November. So I’m looking forward to switching off for a bit but keeping a bit of focus toward next year!
Then back into it for pre-season I guess. I know you’re all gathering every Monday to watch Game of Thrones during breaks in training at the moment, I guess that will be replaced with mid-morning World Cup games.
It’s going to be a long old pre-season! I did it in 2015 so hopefully, being involved in the first team now I can enjoy getting stuck in instead of being an academy lad watching. Starting in June with the first game not until halfway through September it’s going to be a long time but like I said I’m all about improving myself.
This year my body hasn’t been where I wanted it to be so this is a great opportunity to make sure everything is ticked off before we start the season.
A big thank you to the media team at London Irish for facilitating these interviews all through the season, it’s been great to bring you all a little closer to the team and hopefully we can carry on doing that next year!
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