Guy is taking part in a Rugby Union Full Season programme in Brisbane. We caught up with him to find out how he's finding life in Australia...
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’re doing in Australia. What programme are you on?
I am an 18 year old who recently finished at Easton Rugby Academy, studying Sports Coaching and Fitness. I took the opportunity to head to Australia on a Sports Lived Rugby programme at the University of Queensland (UQ). Initially, my plan was to treat it as a ‘gap year’ and have fun whilst furthering my rugby union skills before heading home at the end of season. My plans have since changed as I intend on staying to obtain my 2nd year or Student Visa.
What team do you play for, and what are the facilities like?
I play for the UQ Premier Colts. UQ is a striking university with well kept grounds and excellent facilities. It has a fantastic club house environment and atmosphere.
What’s been the funniest moment of training so far?
Each team member is awarded a doughnut if you don't concede any points at the end of the game.
Who’s your favourite team mate and why? ‘
A Welshman called Harry. He ventured to Australia by himself and is a good laugh. We both have the same sense of humour so hit it off straight away.
Australia’s famous for sunshine and BBQs. Have you managed to put a shrimp on the barbie?
Unfortunately, the term "put a shrimp on the barbie" is not as well accepted as the stereortype – I have been corrected that they are not called shrimps, instead, ‘prawns’. In my experience it is more popular to throw steaks and ‘bangas’ (sausages) on the BBQ so I sadly cannot claim to have put a shrimp on the barbie.
What’s been your highlight of playing during this season so far?
Attending the various UQ Rugby Club nights such as ‘Adopt a Colt’. It is an introduction/welcoming/initiation of the colts rugby boys who get ziplocked to an older player and must follow a set of rules…I won’t spoil it all but I must say, it is a great load of fun.
What’s the best thing about living in Brisbane? And what’s the worst...?
Best: It’s a very liveable city with friendly residents. Great little cafes and a solid night life. Buses and trains make transport very easy. It is also cheaper than other cities such as Sydney which is a bonus. I recommend visiting Sydney as it is a great place but if you are going to live in Australia in the long term, Brisbane is the place.
Worst: They don’t eat yorkshire puddings with roasts. Transport can get a bit expensive if you are not a student and need to travel a lot. Saying this, living right in the centre of town means most things are in walking distance and east to get to.
How is living in Brisbane different to living in the UK?
You regularly wake up to a beautiful and bright day in Brisbane compared to the more cold and grey UK. Also considering Brisbane is a major city it’s not that busy compared to say London. It’s nice being in a different place with good weather and good people.
Any local knowledge about the best places to eat and drink in the city?
Eat Street is a must! It’s an awesome street market set up at Port side with a huge variety of food to choose from! Southbank also is a neat area to explore with a man-made beach and the Japanese sushi train, Ginga.
Living at Springhill is fantastic as there’s always food around including the Outback bar right under our Quest Hotel. Jak + Hill and the Springhill Deli are also favourites amongst the lads living here.
Oxford Street at Bulimba is a great hub with tasty cafes such as Riverbend and a great Italian restaurant named Sugo Mi – the pizza is divine. The Hawthorne Garage nearby on Hawthorne Rd is a great space that sells quality coffee, food and groceries.
Sunday sessions are quite popular. The Fox Hotel is popular but gets packed very quickly so the Sport Lived lads preferred to go to ‘Stockies’ (The Stock Hotel). Other neat bars can be found in the Valley such as Heya Bar or at West End including Lock n Load.
Alfred & Constance is another nice bar along with great restaurants next door including Alfredo’s Pizzeria and Qwan Brothers.
The suburb, New Farm, contains cafes such as Pablo or the New Farm Deli. You can make your way to the park and easily catch a ferry there.
If you are after a decent quality steak, The Norman Hotel or Breakfast Creek Hotel are the places to go!
I must admit I have been a serial offender venturing to Doughnut Time and Mister Fitz for a sweet tooth fix – it’s a must go and there are many around Brisbane.
Where’s your favourite place to go in Brisbane?
This is a difficult question so I might quickly list a few:
I’ve already mentioned Southbank and also like visiting Queen St Mall in the City.
Mt Cootha contains neat walking (or running ha) paths as well as a superb look out view of the city. Kangaroo Point Cliffs is also an attractive area where you can go for a stroll, kayaking, bike riding or abseiling. I also recommend doing the Teneriffe River walk followed by coffee and breakfast at one of the fantastic cafes nearby.
The cinemas at Hawthorne and Bulimba are a lot cheaper than the ones at Southbank, City or the Barracks.
Any standout moments or particular highlights of your time so far?
A road trip with mates to the Warwick Races – I was lucky that I met someone who had a friend hosting people at his house so I was able to join in the on the fun and madness.
Another highlight includes attending State of Origin at Suncorp Stadium. The atmosphere and lead up to the event was unbelievable! I highly recommend hitting up a rugby union or league match at Suncorp and then making your way to Caxton Street afterwards for beer and food.
If you're feeling inspired to book your own Sport Lived trip, we'd love to hear from you! Give us a call on 0115 822 9999, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our friendly team would be happy to chat.