RUGBY LEAGUE FOUR NATIONS ARRIVES IN COVENTRY
Wasps centre Kyle Eastmond will be keeping a keen eye on events at the Ricoh Arena this Saturday, when the Rugby League Four Nations arrives in Coventry.
Eastmond has represented his country at both Rugby League and Rugby Union, and is recognised as one of the most exciting players in the Aviva Premiership, having made the switch from St Helens to Bath Rugby in 2011.
The talented centre joined Wasps at the start of this season and has already made a significant impact for his new club, who are currently sitting second in the league.
Eastmond is looking forward to watching the games as a fan when England take on Scotland (5.30pm kick-off), and Australia meet New Zealand (8pm kick-off) at the Ricoh Arena this Saturday.
He said: “I’ve still got a lot of friends and people I grew up with who still play rugby league and I keep an eye on it as best I can.
“It’s not every day you get to watch two games in one day, obviously four very good teams as well. It’s going to be a very good day and hopefully I can get down there to watch.”
Some of the best League players in the world will be competing at the Ricoh Arena this Saturday. When asked which player he would most like to go up against again if given the chance, Eastmond said:
“I would like to play against the Australian Johnathan Thurston again. I think he is probably one of the best players I’ve ever played against and when you play against players like him you can only come out of the game a better player.
Asked how his league experience has benefited his union game, Eastmond said: “Rugby League has definitely helped me in my decision making, trying to play at the line and trying to fix defenders. It’s something that was ingrained in me throughout my younger days playing rugby league and I want to keep in my game.”
Eastmond will be joined on the side-lines by Wasps flanker Guy Thompson who is also a big fan of League – even though he has never played.
“When I was younger I used to play football on a Friday evening after school for Herefordshire, when I came home Mum would make dinner and the rugby league would be on the TV,” he said.
“I literally loved it, absolutely loved watching it and would have loved to have played it – I’m a massive Wigan fan. It was them, Bradford Bulls and Rhinos and I just always supported Wigan. The speed that they used to play at, I just loved watching it.
“Luckily enough I’ve been to the last two Grand Finals as a fan, I took my Mum and I was there this year when Wigan beat Warrington.”
“Physicality-wise you can definitely spot a rugby league player. As far as the physicality and lines of running are concerned, the rugby league guys seem to know their way around a pitch, that’s why they always make good 7s players as well.”
And Thompson believes his team mate Eastmond is up amongst the best players to have played in both codes at the highest level.
“He’s outstanding. When he was at Bath, he was one of those players that when you did your team preview you had to look out for him because of the threat he poses.
“I didn’t realise how good he really was until he joined us this year. He knows rugby inside-out.
“I think whether he plays league or union he understands the game really well, he talks a lot and brings that physicality of rugby league. He might be a little bit smaller but he absolutely flies into tackles– that is definitely from his rugby league background.”
For more information and to book tickets for the day of international action go towww.rugby-league.com/tickets