- Jackson Willison is a coach at Droitwich RFC
- The side play Farnham in tomorrow’s Senior Vase final
- Watch the match live here
As Droitwich RFC kick off their Senior Vase final match tomorrow at Twickenham, there will be one man 130 miles away following with keen interest.
Worcester Warriors’ Jackson Willison has been helping the midlands club in a coaching capacity this season but will miss the final as it clashes with the Warriors’ final Aviva Premiership game against Leicester Tigers.
“I’ve got used to missing their weekend games because of Worcester matches but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on my phone this weekend,” says Willison, who signed from Grenoble last year having previously played for the Chiefs and Blues in New Zealand.
“I wanted to get involved in a grassroots club when I moved to the UK and when I got to Droitwich I realised how similar the culture was to New Zealand,” he added.
“I turned up with an open mind and it has been really refreshing to see guys playing for the love of it. They have been really welcoming and I’ve tried to help them where I can.”
The side have had a remarkable season, staying unbeaten and winning promotion from Midlands 3 West with four games remaining.
We've done it. 23-11 winners. We're off to Twickenham. Great game of rugby. Commiserations to @TarletonRugby who put in a great show.— Droitwich RFC (@OfficialDRFC) April 15, 2017
Willison says the improvement has been down to hard work from both the players and coaching team led by Director of Rugby Adam Drew.
“When I came in I wanted to try a few new things, unfortunately I don’t get to see them play much so I don’t actually know if they are trying anything I’m saying!”
Drew says the team are looking forward to testing themselves against a strong Farnham side.
“It will make for a very good final because we know Farnham are a very good side,” says Drew. “Win or lose we know it will be a great day. We have worked hard to get to this point and we know we have a few game plans to rely on.”
For most of the players it will be the first time playing at a major stadium and in a national final which Willison says they musn't let overwhelm them.
“I’ve told them to enjoy the day but to try and think of it as another game of rugby. But there has been a real buzz around training and it’s a massive achievement for them to get to this point.”
Come 2.30pm on Saturday, Willison will be checking his phone hoping there is some good news waiting for him.