Dan O'Rourke, as well as being the butt of 90% of my twitter jokes and a royal pain in the bum is something that a lot of people reading will not be able to claim, a talented rugby player. He has been offered a HUGE chance to take the first big steps in making a career out of the sport we all love. Dan has written the rest of this blog, i will point out that it is not the sort of blog we normally run so please don't inundate me with emails about needing funds, but Dan at the moment is spearheading a couple of #RugbyUnited projects and running this blog is our way of thanking him. To be fair, its also trying to help a young lad out with a MASSIVE opportunity.
Dan can fill in the details!!
Hey guys, Rarely hear from me unless I'm talking about the MILF's hula-hooping with Rich, talking about having a better kicking boot than Farrell or complaining about eating Haggis (really nice actually!) but I need your help!
I've been playing rugby now for the past 8 years, starting off as a chubby 11 year old, pretending to be a Jason Robinson, on the wing. Since then I've moved into the forwards, smashed a lot of people, transformed into a back, kicked a load of conversions and penalties, won the Kent Cup at U16, U17 & U18 for the past three years with Blackheath RFC and added 2 World Records to that also. I think that living with my mum and three sisters, having lost my dad in 2004, wanted me to push further with my rugby career and really excel at something I loved doing. My dad was always a firm believer in that if you wanted to become good at something you enjoyed, you had to put the hard work in. Its a motto I've stuck to and its helped me slowly work my way up. Stepping to senior level, two years ago, I managed to play 14 games for Greenwich RFC, who are my local side and we're playing in the Kent Merit leagues, scoring a couple of tries, including a beauty against the Met Police. Last season I went over to Barking RUFC in National 2 and got a couple of runouts in their 1st team squad, which gave me a huge taste of what rugby at that standard is like and I'm extremely hungry for more. The quality, speed and skill level of the huge step up that I took made me want to earn the 10 jersey in the starting XV at a National club. Then back on May 31st and June 1st 2013, I, along with 43 others, smashed through 24 hours and 50 minutes of rugby, scoring 2570 points to break those two world records. So in the past 3 months, whilst I've been playing for another local club to me, Askeans RFC in Kent 2, I've received a contract offer from a club, Upper Clutha in Newcastle, New Zealand, who wish to acquire my services for the upcoming season. The standard of the league they play in is equivalent to the Championship/ National 1. They have had players chosen from them for the Otago/Canterbury ITM cup squads. They've got former All Black coaches working for them and they will help teach me more about rugby to develop myself even more as a player. If I do have an outstanding season, I could get the chance to return back here and play in a National League, I have, however I have had a team already ask about my availability for the 14/15 season in Scotland, or back home to Ireland, to play for teams out there aswell, so potentially the passport will be out again!
Now the #rugbyunited family has helped me out in the past and thank you to the people who did help me last time but this time I'm looking at a bigger project, which in turn is creating an exciting project being headed by Trevor, Rich and I. This time I'm asking the wider #rugbyunited community if they'd care to help me and sponsor me to go out to New Zealand as a #rugbyunited sponsored player, and to help me on the road to bigger prospects. It would mean so, so much to me.
Rich on Dan; Dan is a rugby nut, much like the rest of us #rugbyunited lot, but unlike the majority of us, he actually has talent at playing the game too!Dan has been helping us with a few projects for rugbyunited and has proven himself to be a driven, motivated person and has even chipped in with a blog or 2 on our behalf. He is very focussed on making rugby his career and we would love to see him, and more importantly help him to achieve this goal. Over & In.
Trev on Dan; At rugbyunited, we try really hard to encourage a whole range of rugby related activities, from people talking online, through to supporting grass roots teams and players. We're often asked to support clubs and occasionally individuals in a range of rugby related quests. I can hand-on-heart say I don't think I've ever met someone as enthusiastic about rugby as Dan O'Rourke. Dan is a very ambitious young man who breathes and sleeps rugby. There's not many people out there who breathe and sleep more than the entire rugbyunited team put together! To put this in to context, about 12 months ago, rugbyunited we're trying to find players to play in the beach rugby festival in Lanzarote and at only 17, Dan was desperate to play and come with the rugbyunited team. I had a long in depth conversation with his Mum about what I was expecting from taking a rugby team to a beach festival in the Canaries in the Summer, Dan's Mum said he could come along. (Unfortunately, the tour never happened) Dan has many ideas of what we can do at rugbyunited and is always first to put his name forward when is comes to playing and as explained in the above mentioned blog, Dan is looking for support to further his rugby dreams. I'm personally somewhat jealous of Dan's endeavour and ambition, and perhaps in a small way by backing his plans, I can somehow be part of his adventure to New Zealand. If you'd like to help, contact Dan and whether it's a donation or help in any other way, I'm sure Dan would be delighted to help you
To help sponsor dan either direct dan - @danorourke1995 or any of the #rugbyunited team who will have details.