The famous playwright William Shakespeare once said; “Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”
This quote is particular pertinent for Rory for 2 reasons? Firstly he possesses anthropometrically challenged, T-rex shaped arms and hallux deformed banana shaped feet. Even with some physical disadvantages, Rory Damant was not afraid to accomplish great success within the sport of Rugby Union. Secondly from a young age, Rory was forced to compete in vicious competitive games of knee rugby within his home in Kingston upon Thames against his biggest fan, his dad (Ali Damant). His dad within these games had no mercy on young Rory and forced him to better his skill set so one day would be victorious.
Rory as an athlete (hahaha) has always played with flair, style and panache and resembled what could only be described as a club ‘call girl’ representing Barnes, Ealing, Westcombe Park, Roslyn Park and our rivals today London Scottish. This was until he found his home at Richmond Rugby Club.
Rory had not only developed his rugby talents during his time at St Marys University but also discovered another important talent of his in the ‘art’ of drinking alcohol. With Richmond’s social display as good as its on field display, this was a very fitting club for Rory to play some of the best rugby to date and a club that he would hold very close to his heart.
He has worked extremely hard off the field in previous years to get himself in what he refers to as ‘the best shape of his life’. Believe it or not. I would like to put this down the introduction of Arête performance to Richmond and their perfectly executed physical preparation programme. However, this change has to be attributed to his loving wife Louise and her willingness to support Rory in his off-field preparation for on field performance. She has told many a tale of how she battles daily to keep Rory away from carbohydrates and regularly takes food from his mouth using quotes such as ‘a moment on the lips, forever on the hips’. This has been a contributing factor to Rory’s ever impressive displays on the rugby field of physical dominance from the fly half position.
In the last 3 years Rory has had a new reason to stretch his legs every weekend and give 100% effort. The introduction to his daughter Molly has not only aged him many years through lack of sleep but brought much happiness to the family. This has given Rory an additional reason to run out every weekend and show his daughter what stern stuff her dad is made of. Many men may think it’s a good excuse to get some peace from the hectic lifestyle of fatherhood. But in fact, Rory is proud to have his daughter watch him play the game he so adores, and these will be memories he will cherish for many years to come.
It’s an amazing achievement for any man to achieve 100 caps, especially from a fly half that doesn’t kick. Perhaps even a miracle. His ability to organise and control the game is one of the many reasons he has played so many games for this club and I am sure any player that has been lucky enough to play with Rory would agree that his game understanding and ability to read defences is second to none. He is now a fearsome defensive enforcer, regularly mentioned in Rob Powell’s defensive recaps and even featuring on the RFU dangerous tackle highlight reel. I would like to say personally it was a pleasure to play alongside Rory and let’s hope he is able to don the special Richmond jersey many more times to come.