Welcome to FirstPoint USA - Luke Dearling

5 min read

Were pleased to welcome Luke Dearling to our list of rugby players here at FirstPoint USA. Originally from the UK, Luke lived in Luxembourg for a number of years and attended the International School. However, in 2008 Luke returned to the UK and has attended Prior Park College in Bath. Here, we caught up with Luke in order to learn some more about him and find out why he wished to pursue a scholarship to the US.

Luke tells us he has had a varied sporting background as his upbringing has given him the chance to play in a variety of team and solo sports at club, district and county levels. At table-tennis, Luke states, I have represented Wiltshire and cadet level and I have represented West Wilts in the national league. I have won numerous trophies for singles, doubles and team competitions. Luke also adds, good hand-eye coordination has allowed me to play cricket for both town and district teams, with my bowling securing the most wickets in a season (2014) and my batting making rapid contributions in building a team score. However, Luke tells us he is now more focused on playing rugby and improving his strength and cardio fitness in regular gym work. Within rugby Luke has progressed through the schools junior sides and is now first team prop. Also, Luke currently plays for the competitive academy club, Bradford-on-Avon, who have secured second place in their league this year.

With an impressive and varied sporting background behind him, we asked Luke to tell us about his favourite sporting memory to date

Currently, my favourite sporting memory is probably my last U16A match against Dean Close School. It was pouring with rain and the match deadlocked after the first half even though we had most of the possession and territorial advantage. A win would see us finish that inter-school season with the schools best team record.

With two minutes on the clock and our backs strung out, all the forwards from both teams were engaged in a huge and likely match-deciding ruck. We secured the ball and drove on and over for the winning score. I don't think I've heard a team yell and cheer as loud as we did at that moment and with the resulting victory. As a team, it is therefore still a game we talk about for the commitment and no giving-up approach.

With regards to his top three sports people of all time, Luke states

The former, formidable and very versatile All Blacks' loose-head prop Tony Woodcock. He seemed to be able to do anything and everything and so broke the mold on what coaches could potentially expect from a forward. His commitment to return to the top level after significant injury and the longevity of his career are exemplary.

[caption id="attachment_11577" align="aligncenter" width="563"] Tony Woodcock[/caption]

Sam Burgess for his brutal and explosive power, physicality and overall presence.

Sonny Bill Williams for his cross-code excellence as recently shown in the Blues recent defeat of the British and Irish Lions where he scored a quick reaction try and showed off his tactical understanding by drawing in players before demonstrating exceptional off-loading/ball-handling skill to set up his team-mates for a score.

We asked Luke to tell us what made him want to secure a scholarship to head out to the US to study. He stated, besides the obvious benefit of experiencing broadening horizons and maintaining his international perspective, he has been particularly influenced by both the outstanding facilities that many of the schools offer, as well as the attention to detail they apply to ensure that all student athletes develop to the best of their abilities; both in sporting and academic undertakings. Luke tells us his desire to study in the states has also been influenced by his father, who regularly travels to the US and has experienced the level of enthusiastic support of which collegiate sports receive.

Luke tells us he is most looking forward to the chance to play rugby at an increasingly high standard, whilst also being able to study an academic course, providing him with a solid foundation for his future. Luke also stated, I see the entire package as bringing me closer to potentially becoming a full-time professional athlete or a professional in full time sport, whilst the competition for places and camaraderie will spur me on. Something that Im also open-minded to is the chance to meet people from different countries who play the same sport and yet potentially approach training and playing with different mindsets, processes and strategies.

Finally, we asked Luke where he sees himself being in 10 years-time

Hopefully still playing competitive rugby, but backed-up by a solid degree in bio-mechanics (or the like) that will allow me to build a longer-term career supporting athletes who are both younger and older than me. Whether this career is within a professional team environment or within my own business very much depends on my accomplishments at college and in maintaining good health. My reply is therefore grounded, but hopefully equally aspirational.

Wed like to wish Luke the best of luck and we will keep you updated on his scholarship process through our various social media platforms.

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