England star Semesa Rokoduguni: Rugby is nothing like as tough as Army training

BENEDICT MOORE-BRIDGER
Soldier and winger: Semesa Rokoduguni in action for England against Fiji: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

England rugby star and serving soldier Semesa Rokoduguni said today facing tackles from heavyweights on the pitch was “easy” compared with fighting in Afghanistan.

Bath winger Rokoduguni, a lance corporal in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011.

The 29-year-old player, who served as a reconnaissance tank soldier, said even the sport’s toughest strength and conditioning work was no match for his rigorous Army training. He said: “It was very easy. I thought, ‘Is that it?’ — I’d been through worse.”

Rokoduguni, who was unlucky not to be selected in England’s Six Nations squad, said today he “would love” to return to Afghanistan and was “always ready” to be recalled to action by the Army when needed.

“I would love to go back. It was scary, but you are trained,” he said.

“I have to shave properly, have the correct uniform, perfect timing — the Army could call me back at any time and I need to be flexible and ready at all times.”

An upcoming Bath match at Twickenham against Leicester is raising money for forces charity Help for Heroes.

Rokoduguni said: “It is one thing I can do to support the Army. It is really important.”

See Bath Rugby face their fiercest rivals Leicester Tigers in The Clash at Twickenham on Saturday 8th April. For tickets and further information visit www.bathrugby.com/theclash

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