Following a fascinating first round of the World Tens Series, ncarugby.com chatted to Westcliff’s Jake Campey about playing in Bermuda. Photo Credit: (World 10s series)
It was the Rhinos that won the first round and Westcliff’s Jake Campey represented a side containing USA Eagle Mike Te’o, Rugby United New York’s William Leonard, New England’s Conor Kindregan and even more talent from across the globe.
Campey was invited to join the team thanks to his connections in North America, having represented the Dallas Reds in Texas before moving back to England where he would eventually wind up at Westcliff in National Two South.
“I think the only 10’s tournament I had ever played in before was a festival social tournament where the water bottles were filled up with beer and it wasn’t really taken too seriously,” Campey said.
“To come from that to this is a completely different ball game. You think it is going to be similar to sevens, but there is not as much space as you think, but there is still the same pace as sevens, the same physicality of 15s.
“It is incredible to play and everyone is dying for breath by about three, four minutes in, but the rolling subs have a great impact and the guys I have spoken to, that have seen it on the TV over the weekend, have said it has been brilliant and really entertaining.”
Before last Monday, Campey’s last involvement in a game of rugby was back in March when he played outside centre for Wescliff in a 16-10 win away against Old Albanian. It was the club’s sixth win in National Two South following promotion to the fourth tier and the side looked to have settled well in the league.
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As things stand, the National Leagues are due to restart in January, marking 10 months since the last game of community rugby took place. Having only returned to Westcliff to play in some touch tournaments, Campey says that the opportunity of going to Bermuda to play in the World Tens was too good to turn down.
“When you see the date get pushed back even further, it just seemed like we were never going to get back playing and I was very fortunate and very lucky to get this call and this opportunity, so when it came, I was quick to jump at it,” Campey said.
“We (Westcliff) were playing some good rugby, upsetting some quite big teams, I think we were only going to get better over the season and everyone was chomping at the bit to go again and pick up where we left off.
“It was a bit of an upsetting statement when they pushed it back to January. I think everyone’s heads just dropped and thought ‘what is the point of trying to do anything at the minute? Everything is so uncertain at the minute.”