Former Richmond back-row forward Guy Thompson is closing in on promotion to the RFU Championship with National Division One league leaders Jersey, writes Adam Knight.
Thompson starred for director of rugby Steve Hill’s Athletic Ground side last season, earning him a spot in the Rugby Paper’s National Division Two South team of the Year and a move to the Channel Islands The 25-year-old flanker, capped by England Sevens and once signed by Dean Ryan’s Gloucester, has rediscovered his form after injury curtailed his campaign last year.
And the influence of his spell at Richmond is not lost on Thompson.
“Jersey coach Ben Harvey Jersey coach was involved with Richmond before they went bankrupt,” he said.
“His main role outside of coaching is to build the financial backing slowly and put structures in place so that Jersey are financially secure and never have to rely on one individual’s money.
“You see all these clubs rise up with a lot of money then all of sudden disappear down the leagues.
“It was important for me, wanting to step up again, that they wouldn’t just be there for two years and fall away.”
Jersey signalled their intent by signing ex-Wales prop Ben Evans and former Ospreys centre David Bishop last summer and Thompson has not given up his hope of reaching the Premiership again.
But for now the free-scoring forward is starting to fulfil the potential he showed as a youngster.
“I’m lucky enough to be one of those people who get paid for playing rugby, for doing something I love. I train hard, I play hard, I’m going to do this for as long as I can, I love it,” he said.
Richmond enjoyed a weekend off this week and travel to Shelford tomorrow.