Locker room reflections | Nathan Joyce, England Men’s 45s
Last weekend in Edinburgh Nathan Joyce became the first player to represent England in every available category – Men’s Open, Mixed Open, Men’s 30s, Mixed Senior, Men’s 35s and Men’s 40s.
We caught up with him for some reflections on his career.How did you first get into Touch?
I first got involved in Touch in 1994 when a New Zealander called Paul Napier came to our rugby club in Cardiff and introduced the sport to the youth at the club. Along with a fellow Kiwi, Dave Swain, they formed the Cardiff league and I began playing with the Kiwi Dragons.
As my career developed and I embraced the sport so my love for it grew. I was lucky enough to begin to represent at international level for Wales and then be part of the Great Britain team to tour Australia and then I began to represent for England in 2005.What are your England highlights?
My England highlights are from 2006 and being part of the Mixed side that not only won the European Championships in Scotland, but also the only side to not concede a try in the group stages, resulting in an infinity points difference! I had the real pleasure in playing with some England Touch legends in those game.
Another highlight is winning bronze at the World Cup, again in Scotland. We had a brilliant team and a real camaraderie that got us the bronze when a few times we had our backs against the wall.Any advice for up-and-coming players?
Enjoy every minute you play for your country because you never know when the last game will be. And respect your fellow players and your competition when you play because you never know when that competitor may become a colleague.How has Touch changed in England over the years?
England has come on leaps and bounds since I first started with a massive development not only in professionalism but also in its player base resulting in a rise up the world rankings and overall standings amongst the leading playing countries. That's down to the dedication and professionalism of the current president Gregg Cropper and the team of volunteers that want to see our sport continue to grow.
I now look forward to trying to attain the last catergory in the age range and complete the full set of England honours but have to wait a few years obviously! So I will see everyone on the pitch again and finish what I started over 23 years ago!!!