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Home > Blogs > Rupert Bates - A weekly blog from the world of rugby
Your NewsRupert Bates - A weekly blog from the world of rugby

Friday 08th October 2010
Prop Idol - Andrew Sheridan

 

Eat your heart out Simon Cowell. The show is Prop Idol, combining music with the British obsession for property, where front-row forwards, against the clock, sing while building a wall before demolishing it.

And the winner is: Andrew Sheridan. The Sale and England loose-head, billed as rugby's strongest man, would be the favourite for the title. Sheridan constructs walls, deconstructs opposition scrums, sings his own songs and plays guitar.

"I strum on the guitar and write the odd song. I suppose I fall into the folk singer category, but I am no Bob Dylan," said Sheridan.

At 6ft 4in and 19st you can be anybody you like. But have a listen to his album

 

 

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/where-we-go-from-here/id396081452?i=396081578&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

 

"I recorded it at a studio in Manchester and when I played it to a few friends, they persuaded me to make it available on iTunes," said Sheridan, who wrote all the songs himself. He wrote the songs during his long shoulder injury lay-off, but is not fit and playing for Sale and hoping to make the England team for next month's Twickenham internationals against New Zealand, Australia, Samoa and South Africa.

 

 

If Sheridan ran a New Jersey pizza parlour, not even Tony Soprano's mobsters would come knocking for protection money. Sheridan's gym work is freakish and he has bench-pressed 215kg, or 34st in old money. Imagine lifting two Jason Leonards. I'm being kind, Jase. Leonard remains the prop's benchmark. "With Jason's achievements in the game you listen and learn."

 

Sheridan, having moved from back-row to lock to prop, realises he is still serving his front-row apprenticeship.

Like Leonard, a founder of The Construction Network, Sheridan is also in the building game. A few years ago he spent most Tuesday evenings at Salford College, studying for his NVQ course in bricklaying.

"Even if I am tired, I enjoy three hours of bricklaying. It is a nice escape from rugby and a useful skill to have. We build English and English Garden bond walls, cavity walls and arches. I enjoy the rhythm of laying bricks," said Sheridan at the time of his course.

Building is not just a distraction, it is a trade, and Sheridan only has to look at his own injury record, yet alone others in the front-row.

"You are one injury away from wondering how to pay the mortgage," said Sheridan, who was born in Petts Wood, Kent.

Sheridan, previously with Richmond and Bristol, is softly spoken, with a fine sense of humour. Once when looking to interview him I asked whether 7.30pm was alright to phone. "No. It's EastEnders." He would, in fact, be eating at that time, but not, as myth would have it, munching on a small herd of Friesians.

Sheridan was a schoolboy legend at Dulwich College where his age group side, including David Flatman and Jon Dawson, went seven years unbeaten from Under 11s through to the 1st XV.

"Mum, it is Dulwich away on Saturday. Can I have a sick note?" 

Be it rugby, singing or building, Sheridan's spirit levels are high.


Posted by: , on October 08th 2010 on 12:39pm0 Comments
Tuesday 05th October 2010
Delhi Diary - by England Sevens captain Ben Gollings

 England captain Ben Gollings's first instalment of news from the camp in India ahead of the Commonwealth Games Sevens on October 11-12. England face Sri Lanka, Uganda and Australia on the opening day.
 
We are into our second day in the Village here and the experience has been pretty awesome so far. There’s a great atmosphere, the food’s brilliant and things are being run pretty well.

On Sunday we had a good blow-out in the pool and then headed off to the opening ceremony. It was pretty hot work but good fun.

Then on Monday, we were straight into it with three sessions: wake up, swim, get breakfast, an upper body weights session and then a quick break and food before we got out on the field.

The temperature was up around 35 degrees and you wouldn’t want to play if it’s much hotter than that. It’s pretty intense when you’re still tired and it hit us hard but the boys worked well. Ben Ryan made us run around a bit but you can’t have any excuses in this game. We’ll be better for it as long as we rest and recover properly. All in all it’s been a good day.

It’s often said that the Village and everything going on in it can be a distraction from your competition but to be honest everyone’s getting on with their jobs. You meet other athletes in the food hall or walking around and catch up, but you’re all focused on what you’re doing. That means there is a real buzz about the place.

In terms of preparations, we take things pretty similarly to the way we do with other tournaments on the IRB Sevens World Series. You’ve just got to do the right thing. We’re over here in extreme conditions, hot, humid, and you’ve got to rest up and stay hydrated. The boys were losing 2-3kg in an hour’s training but if we do the right things we’ll put ourselves in good shape for next week.

Ben Gollings was talking to RFU.com


Posted by: , on October 05th 2010 on 07:12am0 Comments
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