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Archie Gavin: Legacy and Renewal at Easts Rugby

In a recent conversation with Archie Gavin, we delved into his experiences, the transformative journey of the club, and what lies ahead for the upcoming season. 

Gavin touched on the key learnings from past seasons, underscored the crucial role of camaraderie among teammates, and discussed the transition under new head coach Ben Batger. 

As Archie and the rest of Grade gear up for the new season, an undeniable buzz surrounds the playing group signalling an exciting season for the Beasties.

Reflecting on your time with Easts Rugby, how has the club evolved since you first joined?

Over my time at Easts, it has evolved immensely in terms of the facilities and the club itself. 

The new playing field has been a great addition to the club, and the Easts family seems to grow each year. That being said, the great family-orientated culture of the club has remained strong since my junior years.

Last season had its ups and downs. What were some of the key lessons you and the team took away from those experiences?

Last year was a struggle for everyone in grade. Although we had a lot of individual player success at the club, the team learned many hard lessons from last year. 

It was the culture of the club that held the utmost importance during the dark weekends. Success doesn’t come easy, and it takes every individual to put their heart and soul into winning the Shute Shield.

The bond between teammates can significantly impact performance. How do you foster a strong sense of camaraderie within the team?

Building a strong sense of camaraderie within the team is all about getting to know your teammates through tough trainings as well as spending time off the field after the game at the clubhouse. 

The Easts pre-season camps and Bondi sand runs help bring the entire club together on a more personal level as well.

You've witnessed several changes in the coaching staff over the years. How has the transition to working with Ben Batger been?

The transition to Ben Batger has been extremely smooth. Ben Batger, with the help of Billy Melrose, Jed Gillespie, and Ed Brenac, has brought great energy and enthusiasm to the club, which the players are really getting around. 

Players have learned a lot of new skills throughout the preseason, which we are looking forward to implementing in the 2024 season.

Every player has a pre-game ritual. Can you share what yours is and how it helps you focus before a big game?

The morning of game day, I like to get up early to go for a walk to get a coffee and croissant. 

Then, after a good breakfast, I like to stay as relaxed as possible while I watch all my best mates in third and second grade. Just before the game, I’ll go over our strategies and game plans to make sure I know what my role is for that game.

The rivalry matches are always highly anticipated. How do you approach these games differently, if at all?

By far, the Easts v Randwick ANZAC Day match is the biggest game of the regular season. I like to keep my pre-match routine the same, as there is a lot of hype and buildup throughout the week.

The club has a passionate fan base. How important is their support to you personally and to the team as a whole?

One of the most important parts of playing first grade is its fan base. Filling the Murray Tate Hill and the Easts Clubhouse creates a home-ground advantage like no one else in the Shute Shield. 

With a tough season like last year, there was still a lot to play for when the passionate Easts fans are there to support.

With new players coming in, what role do you play in helping them adjust to the team's culture and expectations?

With a lot of new players coming to the club this year through all grades, it is important I make sure they find their feet as soon as possible. 

Introducing them to the beasties from last year and assisting them with anything rugby-related.

In terms of personal development, what aspects of your game have you been focusing on improving in the off-season?

An aspect of the game that I have been working on throughout the preseason is my accuracy and decision-making within the breakdown. It is a big part of the game, especially as a back rower, and one I would love to master.

Who in the squad are you expecting to have a big year and why?

After last year and this year’s preseason, Zane Marolt has really impressed myself and the top squad playing group. His hard work, knowledge, and attention to detail are outstanding. 



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