Trowbridge at Twickenham: This is the perfect place to bow out, says veteran (From This Is Wiltshire)
Trowbridge at Twickenham: This is the perfect place to bow out, says veteran
In any normal season, playing at home, with promotion at stake, would be a fitting way to conclude your career.
And in any normal season, that’s what prop forward Sean Jones would have done last weekend, as Trowbridge clinched promotion to South West level by beating Aylesbury at Doric Park.
However, this isn’t any normal season. The rugby gods have instead decreed the veteran front rower’s final curtain call will come in front of an audience of thousands at the home of English rugby on Sunday.
“I’m 36 now and I’m probably going to retire after this game,’’ he said. “If we could get a win I’d be a very happy man.’’
Few amateur players can lay claim to having stepped out on to the hallowed turf at Twickenham even once. Jones, however, will hang up his boots having done it twice.
The carpenter was part of the Dorset & Wilts squad that lifted the County Championship Shield there in 2011, beating Surrey 43-22. This time, though, he reckons it might be a little more special.
“Getting there with the club means more than anything,’’ he added.
“You get put forward to play with the county and you play with players from all sorts of different clubs, but they’re not necessarily from your club. So to share the whole day with blokes you play with every week is fantastic.
“We’re all brothers together in it and it’s quite a close-knit friendship.
“When I went to Trowbridge I was probably thinking the best it might get is that I might to get to play at the Rec.
“Getting promotion is what we set out to do two years ago but then at Guildford it was emotional.
“Before that match, one of the older guys got us together and said that everyone is very proud of us, but it wasn’t until the final whistle went and seeing some of these older guys crying that you realised what it meant. It was probably more special seeing the reaction on their faces.’’
Jones can offer a unique insight into the sense of occasion they can expect.
“It’s a massive game for the boys and it will go so quickly,’’ said Jones, who will have various family members and friends, including 11-year-old son Charlie and eight- year-old daughter Lily to watch him.
“You have all the build-up, getting to the ground and the preparation and then the game is over so quick.
“This time, I think I will be able to take it all in a little bit more.’’