Dewsbury Rams half-back Jacob Thomas believes he has jumped into one family run club to another and says that was one of the reasons that attracted him to the club.
He said on that family feel: “That mixes well with me, it is what I am used to back in Australia, and my previous club the Normanby Hounds they are a family club and I had spent a lot of years there so I got entrenched in the club.
“That is how I like things, my family were big fans of the club and my girlfriend played for the women’s team over there.
“For me it was always the sport I was drawn to as a kid. you dream of becoming an NRL player in Australia and also playing for Brisbane. My father never played rugby, but my mother’s Uncle did play for Australia, although I have never met him.
“Although in my immediate family I don’t have anyone who was a big rugby player, but I was fortunate that my parents supported me through all my sporting adventures. When I got a bit older it wasn’t really a contest in what I was going to take on and be a bit more serious about, it was always going to be Rugby because that was the one I enjoyed the most.
“It is nice to come to a brand new country and getting used to a new competition with a new challenge. It is like a clean slate really, there is no reputation that is following me over hear, I know that I’ll have to hit it right off the bat to try and impress. I will be judged on what I will do this season and not on what I have done in the past.
“I think for Australian’s the one you want to make it in is the NRL however there is an appeal of trying to make it in England and get to the Super League. As I said you get a clean slate and you don’t have anything holding you back and so you are judged on your performances from day one.”
On how much he is enjoying being at the Rams, he commented: “I am really enjoying pre-season so far, I am learning a lot as well as trying to understand the Yorkshire accent as best I can. The lads are saying stuff slightly slower for me, but they have been great and really welcoming. I feel I am being given an opportunity by the coaching staff.
“I have been really impressed in how organised pre-season has been, we all know what we are doing and it has been well thought out.”
He added: “It has been slightly different this pre-season to what I am usually used to, the clubs back in Australia do it differently. We have been doing a lot of wrestling, doing more than what I am used to. Also less running than what I am used to which is good for me because I had a few little injuries last season because of all the running we did.”
Thomas has seen from afar how loyal and supportive English fans are of their respective club sides, and that is no different at the Rams, the Aussie is excited about the prospect of playing at the Tetley’s Stadium.
“English fans in general are very passionate about their sport and they are really loyal to the clubs they support with the way they put their money in” He said.
He continued: “I just want to have a regular starting spot in the team and try to keep the shirt, obviously I am fresh to the competition so I just want to help the Rams push up the table as high as they can.
“Following the season last year from Australia the team finished in the mid to lower half of the table, so I would like to help the club push into the middle part of the league and then go and fight for promotion maybe a few years down the track.”