In-Depth: Joe Atkinson chats Farming and Putting Up Christmas Trees

01st December 2017

Ahead of Sunday’s clash at The Athletic Ground, we caught up with Joe Atkinson to discuss his second season at London Scottish, his love of farming and his video gaming habits.

“We started the year so well against Yorkshire Carnegie, that was a cracking way to kick off the season. Since then it has been……slow, but now we are on the up and getting better week to week”.

Tickets are still available for the Derby here

‘Slow’ is probably too mild a description for the season Scottish have had since beating last year’s finalists.

“We were narrowly losing out on games which we could have won. The boys could have easily let their heads drop but we kept training hard and now you can see with our back-to-back wins that some of our hard work is paying off, things are clicking now.”

Ex-Cornish Pirate Atkinson put in a Man of the Match outing against his former side under the Friday night lights last time Scottish played at home and he’ll be looking to bring another strong performance this weekend against local rivals Richmond.

“The squad is bouncing at the moment, it’s Derby weekend! We’re looking forward to the atmosphere at the RAG and we want to put in a good performance for the supporters and we want to keep climbing up the Championship table.”

Outside of rugby, Atkinson juggles two jobs. “On some days off, when we aren’t training, I head back to the family farm, in lovely rural Hampshire. Then I’m also a bit of a self-proclaimed handyman. Find me on the app ‘TaskRabbit’ and I will do anything from a bit of gardening, hanging up pictures to putting up your family Christmas Tree.”

After rugby, the back rower has expressed his desire to head to the family farm and take over from his father but he insists that is a good few years down the line.

“I think I will head back to the farm and continue to look after the livestock but that’s a few years away. The farm has about 500 sheep so I’m sure they’ll keep me busy”

Although, 26 year old Atkinson enjoys his work life outside of rugby, he still aspires for that full time professional contract.

“I’m still loving my rugby and the dream is to get that full time contract and not have to work outside of training but I am really enjoying this season at the moment so I will go from there, hopefully I can keep my spot in the side.”

Joe Atkinson is still looking for sponsorship. If you would be interested in sponsoring Joe, please email or call 02033979551

Atkinson currently lives in a flat with fellow Scottish 1st XV players Craig Holland and Matt Marley and took the opportunity in the interview to get it on record about who pulls their weight in the flat.

“Matt and I look after the house as Craig and my girlfriend (who also lives with the three players) are teachers and are often out during the day.”

Atkinson continued as he took a gentle swipe at one of his housemates, “sometimes Craig likes to avoid his cleaning up duties, he always claims he has to ring his girlfriend who lives down in Cornwall”.

Outside of the cleaning responsibilities Atkinson said that the new Call of Duty video game has been one of the main focuses in the flat.

“The boys love a game of ‘zombies’, it’s when you and your teammates have to survive an onslaught of zombies who want to kill you. A lot of the Scottish boys play it! We’re currently learning the new maps and figuring out some strategies, you can lose hours of your life on that game.”

Before a crunch match like the Derby today, many players will relax listening to music or will have a pre-match superstition to fulfil, Atkinson’s pre match routine is simple; “I’ll get up, have some bacon and eggs and play zombies probably.”

Aside from trying to survive a virtual zombie apocalypse Atkinson has been in stellar form for the Scots, being an ever-present in the Greene King IPA Championship side.

Do not be fooled by his laidback manner, when it comes to game time on the field he is a workhorse who will graft for 80 minutes. He also frequently finds himself in the wider channels, so don’t be surprised if you see him cantering down the wing this afternoon.

Tickets are still available for the Derby here




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