DAVID Priest has stepped straight out of hospital to
make an impact on Nottingham Rugby.
A week after The
University of Nottingham physiotherapy student was named as a shock
inclusion for the Green and Whites' British and Irish Cup opener in
Wales, he steps-up to make his first start for the club against
Doncaster at Meadow Lane tomorrow (7.45pm kick-off).
It completes a whirl-wind seven days for the shaggy-haired third
year pupil, who spent the past month on work placement in an
Priest's elevation to the XV is one of a host of changes for the
second weekend of the cross-border competition, with Ollie Taylor
promoted to starting hooker and James Stokes coming in at
Fittingly, Priest will take centre stage for a match branded the
Student Party to celebrate the start of the school semester.
The athletic centre admits it has been a tricky balancing act,
studying full-time while making the most of his life as
physiotherapist in training and aspiring rugby professional.
"Rugby training was minimal there for a few weeks," Priest
"As a third year student you are basically treated as a junior
physio at work. It was a lot of work, seeing a lot of patients
every day. It's hectic trying to get used to the working world as a
Priest has impressed at Nottingham Rugby's Lady Bay training
base since joining the RFU Championship side in the summer. The
20-year-old and his University of Nottingham Rugby Club teammate
Alex Boggis were both invited to be part of the squad after
starring in the annual Varsity Match against Nottingham
His induction to the Green and Whites against a side with a
perfect record in the Principality Premiership, with Llandovery
sitting top of the league with six bonus-point wins, was a
"It was tough, a lot harder than anything I've ever experienced
before," Priest said.
"The physicality was right up there, but mainly it was the skill
level and tempo that was the hardest to get use to.
"I came in a bit rusty, as I was bound to be after the four
weeks of work placement. But I felt that I played well defensively
with the minutes that I got, but I know I have work to do attacking
"The nerves were there before the game, but they tend to melt
away once you take the field."