Stooke out to grab his new chance

The Rugby Paper - - News -

BE­HE­MOTH lock El­liott Stooke reck­ons the faith be­ing shown in him by Bath’s coaches will help him de­liver on his early ca­reer po­ten­tial.

A Ju­nior World Cup win­ner with Eng­land U20s in 2013, Stooke ap­peared to have the world at his feet as a se­cond row en­forcer.

But he strug­gled to get game time at Glouces­ter and was shunted on loan to Lon­don Ir­ish in 2015-16. How­ever, last sum­mer’s move to Bath has re­vi­talised him.

Stooke said: “Last year was a good one for me. The coaches showed a lot of faith in me and proved that if you’re good enough in train­ing, you’ll get op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“At Glouces­ter, they’d prob­a­bly have sat me on the bench and just chucked me on for ten min­utes at the end. Now, though, I’m get­ting the nod most weeks and I’m a much bet­ter player for it.

“It was tough leav­ing Glouces­ter be­cause I grew up sup­port­ing them, so com­ing to the lo­cal ri­vals was a re­ally big de­ci­sion. But I’d fallen by the way­side at Glouces­ter and the coaches weren’t will­ing to change much.”

He ad­mits: “Be­ing hon­est, I was prob­a­bly happy be­ing com­fort­able at Glouces­ter. But I looked in the mir­ror one day and said, ‘Come on mate, get your fin­ger out and do what you’re ca­pa­ble of’. I’d become medi­ocre.”

At Bath Stooke, 24, is rel­ish­ing the fight for a se­cond row berth along with Test stars Luke Char­teris, Char­lie Ewels and Dave Attwood.

He said: “My foot’s firmly on the pedal. We’ve got huge com­pe­ti­tion and that’s some­thing I wel­come.

“I’ve had great sup­port from our coaches. This is a huge sea­son for me and I’m out to prove I can reach my full po­ten­tial.”

Po­ten­tial: El­liott Stooke

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.