When Jay Pitts moved to London in 2017 he was looking at it as a new adventure in the Capital city. Half way through his second season he is now Captain of the club and we caught up with him to find out more about the man himself.
When you moved what was it that made you chose London?
I was looking for a new opportunity really. I was at Bradford and their troubles were well documented at the time and the off field problems with the club were affecting my rugby and my life off of the pitch as well. My partner and I decided that we needed something new to get our teeth into and be able to enjoy ourselves as a couple. London came up and I jumped at the chance. It was a new challenge and what better way to start afresh than in the Capital.
What was the difference like coming down south?
The change was massive. I cannot tell you how different life is down here compared to being up north. It was a huge decision for me as I have a lot of family in the north of the country and leaving them was a big life choice. Mum and Dad weren’t best pleased to be honest but we have made it work as best we can with me being so far away. It’s been a real learning experience for me having to stand on my own two feet. It’s also nice being here and spending time with my partner and being able to spend time by ourselves and appreciate London.
How have you actually enjoyed London as a city since you’ve been here?
There’s just always so much going on down here. It’s not really anything specifically that I can put my finger on but it’s just being able to go into London and seeing something different every time. It could be a carnival or festival somewhere. Then there is the museums and history of the city. It’s not like back north where something happens once in a blue moon. We have like taking the dog out and there are so many different places to go I love it down here to be fair.
You are Captain this season. Does that affect the amount of time you get with your partner?
She understands, luckily (laughs). I do spend a lot of time here at the club and I love that time. I really enjoy the role of captain of this great club and it’s a massive honour to be the Captain here. I do try and represent the club in the best way that I can with my performances on the pitch and the way I conduct myself off it too. I put a lot of time in to my other role as assistant for the U 19’s as well. Life can be tough sometimes and she gets that my career is important so we just get on with it and it works for us.
Andrew Henderson brought you to the club and now Danny Ward has made you his first captain. How is it working with Danny?
It’s awesome! It’s great to be working with a coach who has as much experience as Danny does. Learning from him as a player and his knowledge of the game has proved to be invaluable to me and having someone who I can talk to who has been there and done it is fantastic. Hopefully I can be the go between from coaching staff to players. I try and take their thoughts on to the pitch with me and give that to the boys in the squad. I try and make sure the standards are high throughout and that we don’t get lazy and deliver to the best standards that we can.
Playing at Bradford you would have had a large fan base. Here the base is small but loud.
Definitely. It’s a big change but the fans are so passionate down here they really are. The club as a whole is trying to build that fan base constantly in many different ways. We are at a stable home now that fans can relate to and that helps as fans and players alike want stability and having this home now is bringing people back to the club. Also, the way we play has a big bearing on things but the work being done that fans don’t see is ongoing and the club are actively finding ways to build the club and that can only be a good thing not only for us but for the city as a whole.