Written by : Jonathan Wicht, rugby player and student at Languages International
When I choose to come in New Zealand it was because I wanted to play rugby in this country which is famous for the quality of the players and the game. I knew that would be a big challenge but I thought that would be worth it and I wasn’t wrong. I found exactly what I was looking for in New Zealand.
When I arrived at Languages International in Christchurch, Isaac Savage, the Student Services Coordinator, gave me the e-mail address of John Haggart who works for R80, a company which is specialized in the contact with rugby players and he introduced me to the Sumner Rugby Club which was perfect for me because I was living in Sumner.
Sumner had just gone up in the Division 1 and had a lot of ambitions for the season which was about to start. I met the coaches of Sumner who are Scott Robertson and John Tainui, both professional rugby players and they were very friendly and helped me to integrate the team as for a lot of new players from New Zealand and overseas.
As I thought the level of the game and the speed were higher than in Switzerland and I had to acclimate myself to this new environment but the team helped me a lot and I could easily take part of my new club.
We had two trainings a week and one game on Saturday and after the game we always went out together which was great to make the team’s spirit stronger and I had a lot of awesome times with them that I will never forget.
I think I’ve improved my game and my skills because of the time I spent playing rugby with Sumner and that was one of my best experience so far. I recommend doing that to any rugby player who wants to practise this sport abroad.