We get to know our RPA Player Representative for Newcastle Falcons, Sam Lockwood.
Your experience as an RPA Player Representative?
I am into my second season on the Players’ Board and it’s been a very interesting and unique experience. Taking over from Harrison Orr midway through 2017 was a great opportunity for me to increase my engagement within the game and gain a greater understanding of how the sport is run. It’s been enjoyable and challenging, and I feel out of my comfort zone but that drives me forward.
Most beneficial aspect of the role?
Being part of the board has been a massive eye-opener for me and it’s been great to witness what occurs behind the scenes of the professional game. As a player it’s easy to just play the game and have no interest in how the sport operates, but as a Player Representative I have found it very rewarding to listen and experience the board meetings, voice my own opinions and represent my teammates.
Why did you want to become a Player Representative?
I want the voice of my teammates to be heard in the right places. Sometimes being the most Northern club in the Premiership we often feel slightly isolated from the rest of the league. I felt I wanted to really make a difference and give our players the best opportunity to be heard. I see myself as a big team player and I will always want to put my teammates first.
What do you enjoy most about Newcastle life?
I grew up in the North East so Newcastle feels like home for me. As a kid I loved watching the Falcons play and were always inspired by the guys who wore the black and white shirt. To have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps and represent this great club is very special. The city is a great place to live, it’s a very lively and a fun place to play and raise a young family.
Earliest rugby memory?
I played my junior rugby at Middlesbrough Rugby Club and one of the earliest memories I have is making a break, reaching the try-line and then dropping the ball instead of grounding it. I soon learnt that in order to get the meat pie you need to ground the ball.
Were you always a prop?
I actually didn’t become a prop until I was 21. As a kid I started at full-back and ever since I have slowly moved forward until I reached the front row. I have played most positions on a rugby pitch, but I think my coaches soon realised I wasn’t very skilful, so prop was the best place for me.
Sports idol growing up?
The ‘Fun Bus’ Jason Leonard is someone that has always inspired me. I loved the way he went about his rugby, he was a fierce competitor but also an outstanding personality off the pitch.
If you were not a rugby player, what would you be?
Probably a rubbish man. Start early, do the job and then be finished my lunch-time. But in all seriousness, I love rugby and if I wasn’t a player I would hopefully still be involved with the game in some capacity, maybe as a coach.
Favourite holiday destination?
I have been to Ibiza a few times now with the lads and it’s a very fun place. I’ve been on four trips with the guys and will be on track to make it five this year.
For more information on the RPA Players’ Board please click here.