Keenan enjoying rugby in North Otago

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Excelsior’s overseas import Cameron Keenan has ticked off part of his goal with inclusion in the North Otago squad to tour the Pacific Islands in August.

Keenan has been playing at halfback for his club side and has stood out in his outings to date since arriving here in mid April.

After only moving into the halfback a couple of seasons ago following a stint at centre Keenan feels it is something which helped his rugby progress.

“I used to play in the centres but shifted in to halfback and I fell the way the games played and my size that skill set required for halfback suits me more.”

Rugby is not something which runs strongly in his family with only his father and brother playing the oval ball code, before that it was all about football.

“I’ve played since I was around 11-years-old, but haven’t made any sides like North Otago.”

Keenan is of Scottish descent but comes from small English town Milton Keynes, where he played rugby for Olney.

“I have played all my rugby there, and Dylan Winter who plays for Athies has played over there before so it’s a good wee club,” he said.

While part one of his goal is completed Keenan is not about to take his rugby lightly.

“I never expected to play for North Otago when I came over here, I just wanted to experience a different type of rugby, and now I have made the North Otago squad for the Pacific tour I want to do everything I can to stay in it for the Heartland Championship,” Keenan said.

The speed of the rugby is a lot different to back home, but it’s something he enjoys.

“I’m enjoying playing fast footy, it’s different to home, you throw it around a bit more here and more effort goes on fitness.”

While having made the squad to tour the Island Keenan is keeping his immediate focus on helping Excelsior to the knockout stages of the Oamaru Liqourland Citizen’s Shield.

“We play Athies next and beat them last round and are hoping to do it again on Saturday.”

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: JAMES FORD

PROMISING TALENT: Excelsior’s Cameron Keenan has forced his way into the Old Gold’s squad for the tour of the Pacific Islands.