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Silver lining of rugby is the perfection motivation to study hard

Trinity student Jake Hennessey plays serious rugby and studies hard. A Blue in his first term, the Harlequins’ Senior Academy member explains how he divides his time and what it’s like to play – and win – at Twickenham. 

How do you balance rugby and studying?

I find they complement each other really well. I’ve always thought that sport or any other form of extra-curricular activity can massively benefit your academics. Having the ‘silver-lining’ of rugby at the end of the day is the perfect motivation to studying hard during the day. Obviously both are sizeable commitments, so I’m quite busy, but that’s how I like it. Having both is a great way to challenge and improve myself both on and off the pitch.

Ancient Greek and French is an unusual combination: what drew you to these languages?

They were both always subjects I really enjoyed and as a result they were ultimately my best subjects at school. When it came to my UCAS application I considered both Classics and ‘normal’ Modern and Medieval Languages, rather than a mixture of the two, but I couldn’t find it in myself to completely give up either language, and from there the decision was made.

What’s it like to win at Twickenham? 

It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s a huge honour just to play at Twickenham, so to win over Oxford is something else. We’ve trained really hard for three months now, and the team before left the shirt and the club in a really good place, so it’s great to see all of that come to fruition. A perfect day.

Jake with the rhino trophy after the Varsity Match, 2017. © Matthew Impey / Wired Photos

What are your hopes for rugby and your studies in the next year or so?

Really I just want to keep my head down and work hard in both. I’ve really enjoyed the academic challenges of my first term at Cambridge so I’d hope to continue that. Rugby-wise, I’ll be back training with Harlequins over the vacation, which will be a great way to keep sharp and improve myself as a player. If I could maybe get a game or two for them that would be great, it’s always a huge honour to wear the Harlequins’ jersey. When I come back to CURUFC in the new year, it’s all about continuing the momentum from Twickenham – it’s an exciting time to blood new players, and start building for next year’s Varsity match. I can’t wait.

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