This season, Toby Trinder modelled our Big Menwear range for our WILD photoshoot. Toby has a promising rugby career ahead of him, so we asked him what were the WILDest moments so far playing the sport he loves?
Beginning a rugby career at the age of 6 obviously ensures many highs and lows. Competitive rugby in the modern era takes a huge amount of commitment, not least with the amount of travelling it takes some weeks to go to training or play matches, but more so the patience required.
By the age of 12 i was involved in the Northampton Saints EPDG (Elite Player Development Group) coming up against 14 year olds. For the years following this, I didn’t necessarily play to the level I would’ve liked to, this mainly being down to the age and physical development difference. This stage is where the work off the pitch slowly started to count more and more for me, whether it meant getting up at 6am, not sleeping until midnight or having to miss social occasions because I had an extra conditioning session to do.
The years of this hard work, which included some awesome rewards including England u17s training camps, were ultimately all leading up to working towards a full time senior academy contract at Northampton Saints at the end of my 18s season and last year at school. This final year though proved to be massively challenging for me, both physically and mentally, as i had to have a shoulder operation at the beginning of my last year of school, putting me out for nearly 5 months. The whole time I was so worried about no getting offered a contract come the end of the season due to lack of playing time, but I used it as fuel to make sure i was doing everything in my power to get back to fitness and giving myself the best opportunity at a shot for a contract. I managed to get back to fitness a few games before contracts were offered and was lucky enough to eventually get offered one. Phew.
Now the hard work really began… I knew the up and coming pre season of the 16/17 season (my first full time rugby season in a professional club) was going to be a something like I had never experienced before. All the early mornings and tough conditioning sessions where I found myself in some of the darkest places, only made me fitter and stronger, as simple as it may sound, all i did was tell myself don’t stop. It didn’t matter how i got there, just as long as i survived and got through every session, making myself finish without showing weakness. Each day i was able to push myself harder and harder until i became used to the pain and almost thrived on it.
All my hard work set the tone for the rest of the year, where my skills as a loose head prop on loan to Bury St Edmunds kept developing. Each week and each game brings a new challenge and something new i can work on. Almost 100% of my focus was on the next Saturday and dong everything possible to make sure I played to my best ability. My reward for this was an opportunity to represent my country at u19 level against France in Paris which was a unique experience itself. My next aims are to continue putting in the hard work i have and to make sure each week I’m improving as a player, and hopefully the rest will look after itself. Whether all this leads to international or premiership caps years down the line or not, all i can do is concentrate on the now and getting better all the time.