Matt Kouris is in the Lower Sixth at Seaford College. He has played for England U16s and also plays for London Irish. We caught up with him to ask him about his aspirations for life after the Sixth Form.
Why did you start playing rugby?
Rugby is in my blood. My granddad played for the Welsh Schoolboys, and so when I was four, I started playing for Farnborough Rugby Club. My nan loves it too. She comes to every London Irish training session, and brings us sandwiches for the journey home. My granddad lived and breathed rugby, so she did too.
When did you start playing for London Irish?
It was through the county side, when I was about 13.
Have you played for any other sides?
I played for England U16s. If Lewis [Sampson] wasn’t injured, he would have played too. It was fantastic, but it was weird to hear the national anthem playing. At national level, there are changes in speed and intensity, it’s a lot more physical, but apart from that, you’re just playing rugby.
How does the training team at Seaford help you?
Mr Bowden is a good coach, he’s easy to talk to. And then there’s Mr Green, the Headmaster. He loves his lineouts, and he is so passionate when the game comes, he really motivates you. We have a really good team spirit, all the boys were very welcoming when I joined the team, although I did get some stick for playing for England, which you would expect!
How do you make sure you get the right nutrition?
London Irish force you to put on weight! They say a fistful of protein, a handful of carbs and a thumbful of fat, and all the fruit and vegetables you want. But I just eat a lot! I get seconds at dinner. My mum is very health conscious, and I was always taught to eat everything on my plate. So I’m not fussy, although I hate cheese.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I’d like to get a contract for London Irish and play professionally. Next year is our time to do this. Everyone is competing for a contract, but London Irish do give out more than most clubs. If that doesn’t work out, I’d still like to be involved in sport, so coaching would be my fall-back option.
What else have you gained from playing rugby?
It really opens doors, it’s amazing the people you meet. When you’re playing a match, it’s almost like a battle. You play as hard as you can for your brother. There is fantastic team spirit.