Clifton College student Adam Koblic has been selected to play in the European Rugby Championships between 10th - 15th of March. The Sixth Former will play for the Czech Republic, as captain, against national teams such as Switzerland, Luxembourg and Israel. Adam took part in the the squad's training camp last week. We spoke to him to find out how he was feeling in the run up to the European Championships.
It must be a great honour to captain for your country, how are you feeling about this?
I was very much honoured to have had the opportunity to lead our U18 national team in several games, but it is also a great responsibility not to let anybody down. I think that my teammates have faith in my leadership.
Where will most of the players that play be located from?
We have very wide range of players across the Czech Republic, however, most of them live around big cities such as Prague or Brno, where even minor sports (like rugby in Czech) have their supporters. All together there are only five players from Czech playing abroad.
Who will be your toughest opponents?
I think that our toughest match will be against Switzerland, because most of their squad are players that live in Switzerland but are originally from France where rugby is on a very different level compared to Czech.
Is rugby growing in Czech Republic?
Since I have started playing rugby, there has been a significant improvement in financial support from the state and sponsors, there is also an increasing popularity with people. Our men's national team had achieved great success in the past five years by moving up to the Rugby Europe trophy.
What is most promising is the rising popularity among kids. When I was nine, our team of U10s at my home club had 10 players and there were about 120 players in the whole country. Today there is about 150 kids playing in this year group at our club along, which I find totally outstanding.
How has coming to Clifton improved your rugby?
Rugby at Clifton has taught me a lot in the past four months. At first, it was a bit of a shock to relearn game plans and the style of play which is very different from what I was used to. Every session is bringing a lot of new challenges, testing our skills and physical abilities. The improvement that I have made would never be possible in at home.
What has it been like to be involved in the Bristol Bears Academy?
It has been an honour to get involved in the U18 Bristol Bears Academy because I have had the opportunity to play with some of the best players in the country and our coaching team is also very supportive. Bristol has given me a great opportunity which I try to use as much as possible.
What are you ambitions for your rugby in the Upper Sixth and into the future?
I am looking forward to next season, in which I hope we can have an unbeaten season since our squad is going to be full of very good players. I would like to continue in the Bristol Bears U18 Academy. I would definitely like to continue with rugby with the Bristol and possibly at university.
Later on, after I finish with my rugby playing career, I would like to coach children because I have a lot of experience from summer camps where we do fun sport activities and other programmes for children.