Faster rugby going down a treat

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A chance to play rugby in the country of the world’s best team was all the incentive Englishman Callum Lines needed.

Lines, a blockbusting loose forward who plays on the side of the scrum, usually six or seven, jumped at the chance to improve his rugby in the country of the All Blacks.

Rugby is a lot different in New Zealand compared to back in England and he wanted to come and experience the different style of play.

“I really enjoy playing over here. It’s a lot faster than back home and it’s helped my game so much.”

While he has always been quite a fit person, Lines credits the pace of the game over here with taking his fitness to a new level.

“I’m so much fitter now and am really enjoying my rugby more than back home,” he said.

Lines was selected in the North Otago Development squad to take on Queensland Country last weekend.

“That was an awesome chance to play with some of the top rugby players in the region and also get the chance to show them I can make the step up if required.”

While making the North Otago side wasn’t one of his goals, he said if it came about, then he would take the opportunity with both hands.

“If I did get the chance to represent them then I would definitely take it.”

Lines is from Coventry and grew up playing rugby for the Barkers Butts before representing the Coventry Academy.

He began playing rugby at seven years old when he started off as a back, but the desire for more contact and a love for tackling meant Lines moved into the forwards.

“It was one of my major work-ons over here and since I have been playing six, my ball carrying has improved a lot.”

He was confident his Excelsior side could beat Valley this weekend and then turn their focus to the semi-finals.

“We are confident we can beat Valley and face Athies in the semi-final.”

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: Excelsior’s Callum Lines practices his scrummaging at Whitestone Contracting Park yesterday.