Ex-Richmond man enjoys new work life balance at Wasps
If you want to know how far former Richmond flanker Guy Thompson has come in the space of three seasons you only have to look at his post-match routine.
The 26-year-old made his top flight debut for London Wasps at Twickenham last week, less than three years after finishing 2011 in National Division Two South at the Athletic Ground.
Back then, he would have stopped for a beer with his team mates in the bar post-match and maybe ventured in to town for a couple more.
But a rapid move up the leagues – via a two-year stint at Jersey, for whom he was their leading try scorer in the Championship last season – has meant a change of tack.
Last week the former Gloucester academy graduate marked his Premiership arrival – which started with a 16-15 defeat to former champions Harlequins at rugby HQ – by heading home to Isleworth for a takeaway and a night in front of the television.
And Thompson, who had originally committed to another Championship campaign with Jersey before Wasps came calling, has a lot to thank Richmond for, even though his Saturday nights are a little less exciting.
“Steve Hill got me back into the game, so I keep in touch and will always have a soft spot for Richmond,” he said.
“I’ve come a long way since then in a short space of time and to make my debut at Twickenham was unbelievable, a dream – despite the result.
“I still keep in touch with a few of the boys there. One of them is putting me up in Isleworth at the moment.
“The move came out of the blue really and I didn’t know until late in the week that I was going to start.
“I’d trained hard in pre-season, but I didn’t expect to start at all.
“I was going to see a couple of the guys after the game, but I ended up going straight home for some rest and recovery.
“We were at Exeter seven days later. Times have changed. I guess that is what being a professional is all about now.”
Thompson scored 18 tries at Richmond from back row, but injury saw James Greenwood pip him to the honour of being top try scorer for Hill’s men that year.
He made up for that by scoring 23 in his first season with Jersey as the Channel Islanders claimed the National Division One title and then nine last year as Jersey held on to their Championship status.
“Once Steve persuaded me back I decided I wanted to try and play the highest level I could and it has worked out so far,” added Thompson, who has played at Twickenham before for Gloucester in the Middlesex Sevens.
“I’m just looking to enjoy every minute now.”