If London Welsh scrum half Paul Rowley scoops the Citizen Try of the Week for Round 12 he’ll have one person to thank – his Nan back home in Ireland.
Since been named in the shortlist for his try against Harlequins last Sunday at the Kassam Stadium – his first-ever Premiership try – Rowley's Nan has been mobilising the whole of Limerick and Munster to get voting.
"My Nan actually sent me a screen shot of the website and everyone at home has been voting. It will be down to my Nan if I win it; I'm sure she's setting up fake email accounts trying to get the votes up!” said Rowley, who was in the right place at the right time to accept Nick Scott's pass and dive in under the posts.
"It was a good team try; we'd played a few phases before that and hadn't particularly gone anywhere, but some fancy footwork from Will [Robinson] and then a bit of pace from Nick for a change and I managed to get over. Nick's been chipping in saying he wants half of whatever's going if I win.”
The try was a moment to savour, but not that you'd have known it from Rowley's subdued reaction.
"I was absolutely exhausted by the time I scored because we'd gone through a lot of phases beforehand, so I've had quite a bit of stick from the boys about my lack of celebration. I was ecstatic inside, I just couldn't express myself,” he added.
Rowley's try saw Welsh take a deserved 7-0 lead against Harlequins, having spurned several clear-cut try scoring opportunities before that. Those missed chances, though, would eventually come back to haunt the Exiles, as Quins went on to win 24-13.
"We've looked back at the chances that went a begging in that game and we feel it was an opportunity missed. We let chances slip away and the better teams don't do that. They get a sniff and they score. That's something we need to improve on,” said Rowley.
Signed from Plymouth Albion last summer after three years on the south coast, Rowley came through the Munster Academy. In his five years at Munster he gained experience in the Pro 12, British & Irish Cup and with Munster A, while he also represented Ireland and Munster Schools.
Arriving at London Welsh, Rowley had to be patient for his opportunities to shine, having found himself vying for the number nine jersey with Rob Lewis, with well over 100 appearances for the club to his name, and World Cup winning All Black Piri Weepu.
"I obviously knew the calibre of the lads that were there, but I just tried to keep training away, trying to improve and concentrating on my own game. And there's so much you can learn from someone like Piri who's played in a World Cup final and 71 times for the All Blacks,” he said.
"I've just been picking up experience. I think I suffered from nerves in the first part of the season, just from playing at a new higher level. But I've gained confidence from getting game time and now I just want to relax and express myself.
"I've surpassed some of the goals I set when I initially came to the club to a certain extent, and now I've come up with some new goals and I just want to keep pushing on. I can't just sit back and enjoy the moment [his try vs Harlequins] as we've got a big game against Newcastle this weekend. There's no time to praise myself.”
London Welsh continues to reinforce its relationship with the people, businesses and communities across Oxfordshire and has adopted the strap-line 'Premiership Rugby in Oxford – Be part of it'.