Across the Channel – Dan Lewis Column


In his fifth column for Fifteen Rugby, the season is now fully underway for Dan Lewis, while the classroom is also back up and running…

Across the Channel – Dan Lewis

Well this season is well and truly in full swing. This is not only apparent from the first two rounds of the Espoir league coming to a close, but also with the simultaneous school year beginning. And as much as I’d hoped that my days of classrooms and lessons were over, even aspiring rugby players have to study sometimes!

This past week I met with the academic consultant that looks after the educational side of things for the senior academy players here. Having passed my French exam last season, and despite my mis-adventures when actually trying to speak it in public, I was told that I was decent enough to have to choose a new course this year to partner my further French lessons.

So a few hours before this weekend’s home match, I was feeling pretty confident and calm – until the unthinkable happened. I was told suddenly that the extra course I’d have to do in French would be… maths! I mean, I’ve barely managed to get the hang of that subject when I do it in English, and now they want me to add up in French!?

However I guess if you’re going to try and learn a subject in a foreign language, then you may as well try the most universal language of numbers to make things a bit easier…here’s hoping.

Anyway, back to a subject I feel more comfortable with in either language, rugby. It was a great weekend getting our second win from as many games at home in front of a large crowd, on the new ‘4G’ pitch at Stade Charles-Mathon. Having just missed out on a place in the play offs in the top 6 last season; there’s been a real energy and commitment to putting that right this time around, which has shown in a good, and more importantly, winning start.

However, the challenges will only keep on coming and all the guys are aware of that. With a 12 hour bus trip scheduled for next weekend, before the French Giants Biarritz make the journey here, we know it won’t be easy. For the relatively new members of the squad like myself, and especially the Englishmen within the group, it’s nice to have the knowledge of last season in the bank when it comes to our opposing teams. Obviously teams, and squads change, but it’s useful to have a decent idea of what each opposing sides will bring having already played them twice before.

And as we head in to training on Monday morning, we’re aiming to make that count.

By Dan Lewis


 Dan Lewis is currently an Espoir at French Top 14 club Oyonnax. He was fly half for the St Joseph’s College 1st XV during their triumph at the 2013 St Joseph’s Festival, playing for England U18 Clubs and Schools later in that 2013/14 season.

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