Gloucester Rugby have added another lock to their squad for the 2011-12 season with the signing of Hartpury RFC captain Tom Savage.
Savage is well known to followers of rugby in the Gloucester area having skippered Hartpury RFC to the National Three South West title this term. He achieved this whilst training with the Gloucester first team throughout the season and also made frequent appearances in the Aviva Premiership Rugby A League. Not bad for a man who only took up rugby seriously when he arrived at Hartpury five years ago as a raw and enthusiastic talent.
It’s another example of the close working relationship between Gloucester Rugby and Hartpury and Savage himself is quick to pay tribute to both parties as he explained to the Gloucester Citizen. “I got recommended to come here (Hartpury) by a coach at home in Shropshire about four years ago now. I started down with the freshers in the third team and just gradually built my way up.
“I’ve always been someone who’s keen to train, so if you’re given an opportunity, it’s totally up to you to take it. The facilities at Hartpury, and what’s available to you, if you can get in the eyes of the coaches, then with all those facilities you’re always in a good position to progress. I was given an opportunity to train with Gloucester this season and I’ve just taken every opportunity that’s come my way. I was lucky enough to be invited to their preseason last year, and I completed that, went on tour to Portugal with them and carried on this year training throughout as much as I have been able while still playing with Hartpury.”
It’s apparent that hard work has played a huge part in getting the 21 year old where he is today and he’s obviously determined to carry on in that vein and make the most of his opportunity.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity, and over the next two years I’ve just got to get my head down, work hard and try to show the coaches and everyone else in the support staff that I was worth a contract, and then worthy of selection consideration after that.”