Loosehead prop from St Benedict’s to join French Club, Agen in 2021
AWSUM caught up with Eadin Layzell, scrumhalf of St Benedict’s College to talk about his contract at French Club, Agen.
Firstly, congratulations with your signing at the Agen. How does it feel to be seen and acknowledged for your talents? Personally, being seen is unlike any feeling I have experienced. My love for rugby has grown immensely over my years of being introduced to the sport. Being in a smaller, rugby involved school hasn’t allowed me the same opportunity as some other boys have received.
This is a difficult year for the Matrics of 2020, and even more so for the sportsmen and girls. Can you describe to us your personal experience and feelings in this regard? It’s been very hard not being able to play sports this year, especially rugby. The excitement for this season between my teammates and myself was ecstatic as this was our last season and was the season that everybody looked the most forward to. We were able to play one game this year and to have the boys on the side of the field singing war cries and supporting has been one of the biggest honours of my schooling career. At times I think back and miss what the season could have been.
What influence did your school have on your rugby career? My school was the beginning of rugby for me, I started playing rugby in my grade 8 year. I started as an U14 B rugby player as at the time rugby was completely new to me. With the help of my coaches and my teammates especially, I was able to grow my passion for rugby. I gained more experience as I moved through the grades, wanting to improve what I did on the field and how I thought as well.
Who had the most influence on your Rugby career thus far and why? Currently the company (Rugby Travel) that took me overseas in 2018 and 2019 has had the most influence in my rugby career. They opened a new door for me to possibly travel abroad and experience a new type of rugby and now a new way of life. The coaches have been nothing but supportive and have shown me that with hard work and dedication I can succeed. They believed in me and have given me so many opportunities and I am grateful that I was able to give back to them by taking the opportunity and using it to the best of my advantage.
Who is your role model as a rugby player and why? One of my role models as a prop is Cian Healy, he was one of the first props to implement the “open field running prop” in modern rugby. Even though props aren’t normally the most mobile players on the field, he showed me that being mobile and enhancing my speed will only surprise the opposition. He also was able to succeed as a prop in the Irish scrum, dominating opponents.
What are you looking forward to the most now that you are a contracted player? I’m really looking forward to the experience of playing with new people. I also look forward to experiencing a new way of life overseas, getting the opportunity to learn new cultures and a new form of playing rugby.
What is your opinion of Agen and why did you decide to sign with them? Personally Agen is a great club, when I went over last year I was asked to participate in a day’s training and then being able to undergo some tests. I felt like I belonged right away. The close comradery between the players and the respect between themselves and the coaches was immediately a stand out for me. The club was very professional with their process and the communication was always good. Being able to talk to some of the other players that have come from all different countries was also great. I decided to sign with Agen as the opportunity felt like a dream. When I heard that there was going to be a contract offered, just the possibility of it happening was mind blowing. It took a few days for the whole thought of me having the privilege of playing rugby after school and possibly making a career out of it to sink in.
We wish you well for this journey ahead and hope that your dreams will come to reality.