Winning culture at Saracens drives me says Harpenden’s rising star Ralph Adams-Hale
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They may still be challenging on two fronts this season but there will no complacency for Saracens – it’s not in their culture.
So says Harpenden’s Ralph Adams-Hale who is learning all about the Saracens way as he rapidly climbs through their ranks.
The former Roundwood Park schoolboy has been involved in the club for the last six years and says the mentality of the club’s very top players is what has made them so successful.
“It’s remarkable that you can win the double one year but then two months later everyone’s back here and hungry for the next season to win it again,” said the dynamic front-row.
“There’s never been a case of relaxing after we’ve won something. Everyone is hungry to play good rugby and not let their standards slip.
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“There’s no complacency and as a youngster that helps drive you too.
“You come here and these lads are all here training hard and you think that’s what I need to do.
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“And then that gets in your head and then that becomes your standard, the way to train and way to play.
“You learn the culture and how to be relentless from the older lads and that bleeds into you.”
Adams-Hale has been involved much more frequently this season and while Saturday’s Heineken Cup final against Leinster will come too soon, he is determined that should the opportunity present itself next year, he will be more than ready.
“I never really took rugby seriously until I was 15 or 16 and then I was picked up by the junior academy at Sarries,” he admitted.
“Until then it was just playing with your mates and having fun and when you come into the academy it’s a bit more structured and a bit more serious.
“It’s then you start thinking about going further with it but I’ve always been of the mindset to see how well I can do. It’s a personal challenge to see how far I can go with it.”
Rugby though has been his life since he was five when his mum “chucked me out there and let me get on with it”.
And the support network he had then still remains, including his school mentor.
He said: “I went through the whole age range at Harpenden Rugby Club. I did play at school and Matt Hunter the rugby coach there really supported me.
“School were really helpful in letting me go away with junior games. They were really flexible and I’m still in contact with my old coach.”