James Perrett is loving his UK adventure.
The Gunnedah native is currently combining his passion for rugby and helping kids develop as the youth development officer for the Scarborough Rugby Club.
The job sees him not only going into schools but also looking after the youth program at the club, which consists of over 200 minis players (under 6s to under 12s), junior sides (under 13s, 14s and 15s), colts boys and under 13s, 15s and 18s girls.
He also assists the other club coaches with anything they may need.
That can range from their own development, organising games or refereeing
So as he put it “there is plenty of work to do.”
Now a few months into the job, Perrett is enjoying being able to devote his focus to just one club, and one city. It is quite a change from his previous role as the NSW Rugby Union’s North Coast development officer, which saw him covering a large area.
“The impact and recruitment you can make in the area is so much greater and the results are already starting to show through with heaps of new kids coming to play rugby,” he said.
“Even though when Christmas comes we are half way through the season, they are still coming.”
He is also lacing up the boots for the local side.
They are currently sitting in third place on the Yorkshire Division 1 (Northern Division) table with nine wins and three losses from their 12 games. Their third loss came on the weekend to the lower-placed Moortown.
“The rugby is of a good standard and I am seeing plenty of ball,” he said.
It is though a lot slower-paced game than he is accustomed to.
“They have massive forward packs and are not as mobile around the park as players back home,” he said.
“Our team is a mix with some big forwards and little ones that get around the park, which is where we have an advantage over some teams. They are young and fit and not scared of the bigger blokes.”
“We have a very good backline when everyone is fit, and it has been working well and we have been scoring loads of tries out wide.”
“The bench is different here also, you are only allowed three on the bench and one has to be a front row replacement, which leaves one loose forward and one back reserve.”
“So if you get an injury early it makes it a tough battle especially if your reserve is unable to play that position.”
Perrett also got roped into strapping on the whites for a few games of cricket when he first arrived over there and in one game smashed a stunning unbeaten 35-ball 113.
“It was a bit of fun and I got quite lucky one game with the bowlers bowling at the middle of my bat,” he joked.