Theo Dan and Val Rapava-Ruskin, who played for Club Minis and Juniors sections, have both been named in Steve Borthwick’s World Cup training squad.
In ‘Talking Rugby Union’, Tim Harmer speaks about the inclusion of Theo Dan, who Tim helped develop during his junior days at Blackheath Rugby, between 2006 and 2016.
Referring to the time when Theo was playing U15/U16 with The Club, Tim says “His handling was good, he was a good place kicker, he was very attuned with his own ability but also to the other good players in the side. He was a very good all-round sportsman and very aware of what was going on. He just had one of those rugby brains.”
Theo standing second from right in the back row
Remembering Val Rapava-Ruskin, James Fleming, Blackheath Rugby Chairman and one of Val’s former coaches, says “Starting his rugby career at the Rectory Field, from around the age of 8 onwards, Valery was a key member of his age group side at Blackheath. With good hands and powerful legs, Valery made a major contribution to the success of his team as they progressed through the age groups. In the early days he was a marauding No. 8 who would always take 2 or 3 tacklers to bring him down, thereby creating lots of space for his team mates. His good footballing brain and clever hands meant he was regularly scoring tries as well.”
Val pictured standing second from left in the back row in Blackheath colours in 2003.
We wish Theo and Val all the best with their continuing careers, and hope to see them get their senior International Caps in the autumn.
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