Fixtures - Top Bar

London Irish’s Tom Court wants you to be an Aviva First Timer

TomCourtFirstTimer

LONDON Irish prop Tom Court has been there and done it in the sport of rugby, but he admits it could have been a completely different story.

As he continues his Aviva Premiership Rugby season with London Irish, at the age of 34 Court can look back on an illustrious career already.
 
Growing up in Brisbane, Court has now played in Australia, Ireland and England as well as racking up 32 Ireland caps and featuring on the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour.
 
But his first foray into rugby was somewhat fortuitous as he only took up the sport in 2004 in order to lose weight after excelling as a shot putter and being crowned Australian University Champion for three years running.  Court also had Olympic trials in 2002 for shot putting but the Exile insists he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I didn’t actually play my first game of rugby until I was 24 as I had specialised in athletics and rowing through to the end of high school,” said Court, who’s interview was part of a new campaign from Premiership Rugby and Aviva to welcome new supporters to Aviva Premiership Rugby this season.

Court is part of an illustrious group of current players – including Chris Robshaw, Courtney Lawes, Danny Cipriani and James Haskwell – to back the Aviva Premiership Rugby First Timers campaign which has been a roaring success with more than 14,000 applications.

“I guess I had the underlying strength and power base, we did a lot of lifting with shot put and a lot of short sprints and jumps and it was just learning how to play,” he added.

“My Ireland debut was against Italy in the Six Nations in 2009. That was obviously one of the highlights of my career and it is hard to put into words the feeling of running out for your first international cap.  I was very lucky as that year we won the Grand Slam.
 
“It was very strange getting invited to come down and play for the Lions as I was assuming the phone call from Guy Richardson was a prank call and then realising that it wasn’t was great.
 
“Just seeing all those world class guys together in one team and everyone being so nice and friendly and welcoming to you, it is almost scary in a way because it is one of those things where the actual pinnacle is to play for the Lions.”

Court’s career now sees him strutting his stuff in Aviva Premiership Rugby and the prop is urging as many people as possible to get involved in the competition – in any way, shape or form.

“Rugby union is one of those games that there is a place for everyone, every shape or size, every ability,” Court said.

“You can see the same interpretation of the same event happening on the pitch and you can have one fan screaming yes and one fan screaming no and they will both be right.

“There is so much happening on the pitch that it is never too late to get started really so there is always something for everyone in a game of rugby.”
 
The Aviva Premiership Rugby First Timers programme will give away almost 2,000 free tickets for every game in the first seven rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, from the start of the season right up to Christmas. 

Fans are encouraged to tell their friends and family who have never been to an Aviva Premiership Rugby fixture to visit www.premiershiprugby.com/avivafirsttimers now to apply for free tickets.
 

Latest News

The Anglo-Welsh Cup is back!

Click here for tickets to the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final on 19 March LAST year was one to remember for rugby…

161031_premrug_aw_newheroes_online_1920x1080

Ed Slater suspended after club disciplinary hearing

Leicester Tigers have suspended forward Ed Slater from playing for two weeks following an internal disciplinary hearing. Following a citing,…

Ed Slater

Will Spencer backs Worcester Warriors for Anglo-Welsh Cup run

Lock Will Spencer claims Worcester Warriors will be pulling no punches when they return to Anglo-Welsh Cup duty against Harlequins…

Will Spencer has played six times for Worcester Warriors this season

Owen Farrell leads the way in Europe

No one has more points in the European Rugby Champions Cup than Owen Farrell after the Saracens fly-half was exceptional…

Owen Farrell kicked five points in Saracens victory over Toulon

Bristol Grammar School To Host Land Rover Cup

Bristol Rugby Community Foundation’s Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup will be held at Bristol Grammar School’s Sports Ground on Clevedon…

Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup

Saints and supporters help raise even more money for Royal British Legion

Northampton Saints and its supporters have a long track record of getting behind the country’s servicemen and women. This has…

Saints and supporters help raise even more money for Royal British Legion

Saracens to face Glasgow Warriors – Mark McCall reaction

Defending champions Saracens will face Glasgow Warriors at Allianz Park in the quarter final stages of the European Rugby Champions…

Mark McCall

How the European Rugby Champions Cup semi-finals draw works

Following confirmation of the Champions Cup quarter-final line-up, the 2016/17 semi-final pairings will be as follows: Semi-final 1 - winner…

championscup17sb1111

Carlo Festuccia to re-join Wasps for remainder of season

Former Italy, Wasps and Zebre hooker, Carlo Festuccia, has re-joined Wasps on a short-term contract until the end of the…

Carlo Festuccia

Aviva Premiership Rugby European round-up: Wasps make quarter-finals

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young was far from overawed by his side’s performance in Italy, despite a 41-27 success…

PARMA, ITALY - JANUARY 21:  Christian Wade  of Wasps scores a fourth try during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Zebre Rugby and Wasps at  Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on January 21, 2017 in Parma, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)

How the Challenge Cup semi-final draw works

If you've always struggled to work out how the semi-final draw of the European Challenge Cup works then look no…

GLOUCESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21: Lewis Ludlow of Gloucester scores his team's first try of the game during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Gloucester Rugby and Bayonne on January 21, 2017 in Gloucester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final draw

Reigning champions Saracens have earned a home quarter-final against Glasgow Warriors in the European Champions Cup quarter-finals after topping Pool…

JameHakellWapCa14B1005

European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final draw

Group winners Bath Rugby and Gloucester Rugby will both be at home in their European Challenge Cup quarter-finals after topping…

BATH, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 21: Anthony Watson of Bath Rugby goes over for his sides third try during the European Rugby Challenge Cup match between Bath Rugby and Pau at the Recreation Ground on January 21, 2017 in Bath, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Big displays see Saracens, Gloucester Rugby and Bath Rugby progress

Mark McCall believes his Saracens side delivered a “coming of age” performance after a dogged 10-3 victory over Toulon guaranteed…

BARNET, ENGLAND - JANUARY 21:  Chris Ashton of Saracens scores the first try during the European Rugby Champions Cup between Saracens and RC Toulon at Allianz Park on January 21, 2017 in Barnet, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

European round-up: Northampton Saints

Northampton Saints did captain Lee Dickson proud on Friday night despite suffering a 26-17 defeat at the hands of Montpellier…

BARNET, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Lee Dickson of Northampton passes the ball during the Aviva Premiership match between Saracens and Northampton Saints at Allianz Park on September 17, 2016 in Barnet, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Concussion Management Review Group Update – Sale Sharks

The joint RFU/Premiership Rugby Concussion Management Review Group met following the referral of the untoward incident involving Sale Sharks’ player…

PremRugbyBallsSngle

Matt Hopper: Harlequins ready for Stade Francais cup final

Harlequins are gearing up for a ‘cup final’ when they visit France in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, but centre…

Harlequins v Saracens - Aviva Premiership

Chris Harris desperate to kick on after Newcastle Falcons return

Newcastle Falcons’ narrow European Rugby Challenge Cup loss to Grenoble may have dashed their hopes of making it through to…

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Gloucester Rugby name side for final European pool game against Bayonne

With a home quarter-final spot resting on the result, Gloucester Rugby make seven changes for the visit of Aviron Bayonnais…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Wasps team to travel to Parma to play Zebre Rugby

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his squad to travel to Parma, for Wasps’ final match in the Champions…

Wasps v Toulouse - European Rugby Champions Cup