A former Rugby Academy graduate at Rydal Penrhos has been speaking about his initial experiences in the English Premiership with Exeter Chiefs for a special feature.
Sean Lonsdale, who left the school in 2015, has been making his presence felt as part of their Chiefs’ set-up this season, and he has turned in a series of impressive displays as they find themselves level on points with league-leading Saracens in second spot heading into the closing stages of the campaign.
Lonsdale took part in the "Young Guns" Column in the latest edition of the Rugby Post, where he recalled “being thrown into the deep end” during his debut against England openside Tom Curry.
Lonsdale, said: “That was one hell of a day!
“I’d been on the bench for the opening two matches and was due to be on the bench again, but Matt Kvesic went down ill and I was chucked in at the deep end.
“I was very nervous at first but then you remind yourself that, actually, it’s just another game of rugby and when you get on the pitch, the nerves disappear.
“I got stuck in, played 50-odd minutes and we won 35-18 with a bonus point. It doesn’t get much better.”
Lonsdale spent time with RGC prior to his move to the English system, where he helped the Gogs’ secure promotion to the Principality Premiership after a meteoric rise to prominence since their inception.
He joined Rydal Penrhos as a Year 10 pupil and developed his skills significantly during his time at the school thanks to the expert coaching given by staff and the coaches at RGC.
“Phil Davies was our coach at RGC at the time and he recommended I get an agent,” added Lonsdale.
“From that I ended up at Exeter, in a different country, but I was so fortunate to get the opportunity at a leading Premiership club.
“I enjoyed my rugby at RGC and going there from Rydal Penrhos was pretty good timing for me because I played for their U16s and 18s before getting into the first team and winning promotion.
“In fact, my last game there secured that, so it was nice to be a part of it.”