Rocky Clark MBE

Rocky Clark has been put forward to receive an MBE in the New Year’s honours list. As a result I have been looking into some statistics and numbers to put her career into perspective. I am biased, as a friend and as a front row fanatic I believe the work of the front row always goes under the radar. Performances like England’s front row performance against Ireland, in the semi-final last year’s world cup, go to show how important the front row are. I think Rocky could have easily made a claim to have been a player of the tournament. So often she was England’s go to player when things needed to be reset. In that semi-final against Ireland she scored her 20th try for England in 95 caps. That’s a 20th try for a loosehead prop. To put it in perspective: Jason Leonard; a player often used as a comparison for Clark scored one try in 114 games. Richie McCaw in 137 caps has only scored 5 more and alone she has scored twice as many international tries as all of the England men’s forwards combined that started the game against Australia in 2014. Their combined cap count is 266. Again this is from a prop forward. Combine this incredible statistic with a work rate that has to be seen to be believed. In terms of carries and tackles – her statistics are ones which a back row player would be more than pleased with – and you have a once in a generation player. This is someone who never ever takes a single cap she has received for granted. She has a desire not just to jog through to the end of her career whenever it comes, but to prove to people she is the best choice and the target for anyone in her position to aim for. She is a player who constantly develops herself and at the moment I think she is playing the best rugby of her life. Yet she still has a desire to be better to be fitter and to be stronger and it drives her forward every day. As a tight five forward she was never going to be offered a professional contract so still performs to professional standards as an amateur. Juggling coaching men’s teams, women’s teams, uni teams, county teams, school sides and personal training as well as the demands of training required to stay at the top. I have written about her in the past and I hope I will be writing some more about her in the coming year as she is more than just a great rugby player she is an inspiration to players and coaches who work with her. I am looking forward to seeing what the year ahead has to off for her but in the meantime Rocky Clark MBE has nice ring to it.


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