In his fifth column for Fifteen Rugby, the season is now fully underway for Dan Lewis, while the classroom is also back up and runningâ€¦
Across the Channel â€“ 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 Iâ€™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 weekendâ€™s home match, I was feeling pretty confident and calm â€“ until the unthinkable happened. I was told suddenly that the extra course Iâ€™d have to do in French would beâ€¦ maths! I mean, Iâ€™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 youâ€™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 easierâ€¦hereâ€™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 â€˜4Gâ€™ pitch at Stade Charles-Mathon. Having just missed out on a place in the play offs in the top 6 last season; thereâ€™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 wonâ€™t be easy. For the relatively new members of the squad like myself, and especially the Englishmen within the group, itâ€™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 itâ€™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, weâ€™re aiming to make that count.
By Dan Lewis
Â Dan Lewis is currently an Espoir at French Top 14 club Oyonnax. He was fly half for the St Josephâ€™s College 1st XV during their triumph at the 2013 St Josephâ€™s Festival, playing for England U18 Clubs and Schools later in that 2013/14 season.