Brad Field determined to seize second chance at big time with Gloucester Rugby
BRAD Field jokes that deceptive appearances helped him break back into professional rugby this season.
But do not let the humility fool you – this is a gritty scrum-half who has had to seize his Gloucester chance the hard way.
Two months on trial battling for a Kingsholm future made for an uncertain start to the season.
The sharp half-back consistently impressed the Gloucester coaches though, enough to secure a dual-registration deal with Hartpury RFC.
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Field looks fresh-faced enough to have just graduated from an academy – but he turned 27 in September.
This is his second stint at a Premiership club – almost eight years on from the end of his first.
If things did not work out in his year-and-a-half straight from school with Bath, Field is determined to be a top-flight success this time around.
He explained: "At my age – a lot of people think I'm younger than I am – to be breaking into the professional game is difficult, but I feel young, and I feel like I play young as well.
"I might not have ten years in me but I feel like I've got a good few years ahead of me yet, and I'm excited about what's ahead.
"The big challenge and aim is to win another deal for next year at Gloucester.
"A trial like that should keep you on your toes, I was training for a contract, but I enjoyed it really, and that's down the way the coaches and players helped me settle in.
"Everyone treated me like a first team member straight from the first day.
"In my first training session every single one of them came up to me and shook my hand – they didn't have to do that but they did, and it made me feel completely welcome."
Growing up playing for home club Wellington RFC, Field moved onto Taunton before winning an academy contract with Bath.
Unable to break through with the Blue, Black and Whites, he headed off to Canada – for a season with Richmond RFC in Vancouver.
The sabbatical did not solve his long-term future, so Field headed back to Hartpury College.
His perseverance paid off: a sports coaching degree, two BUCS championship titles and one league promotion later, he was in the Kingsholm frame.
Now he is competing with All Black Jimmy Cowan and England Under-20s caps Dan Robson and Dave Lewis for chances with Gloucester.
If attitude in training marked him out, Field believes opportunities with Gloucester United in A League action edged him over the contract line.
He continued: "I played for Wellington until I was about 15, then I moved to Taunton, I played at Bridgwater, I moved onto Bath Academy.
"Then I went away to Vancouver to play and I was out there for a season.
"I thought to myself I wanted a degree, and to keep playing rugby as well, so Hartpury was the best place to do both of those.
"It's given me this chance and now I've got to take it.
"The A League games have been invaluable – they definitely helped me in terms of the contract.
"Nigel (Davies) wants to push the A League and push first team players into it, and that's great.
"You can be brilliant in training, but when it comes to games it's completely different.
"So you've got to produce 80 minutes of quality rugby.
"Getting regular rugby with Hartpury RFC on Saturdays is great, and I just have to keep working hard to put myself in the frame for chances with Gloucester."