Ben Onyeama Christie will make only his second start for Scottish this Saturday after spending most of the season as an impact replacement from the bench. No doubt the young prop forward will be excited to take his opportunity with both hands.
Christie joined Scottish this summer on a part time deal as he combines part time training with the Scots with his city job whilst on a Year in Industry from Loughborough University.
Christie spoke of how he has adapted to his new working life but still misses the life he has temporarily left behind at University, “I love life away from Uni, I am learning a lot and now I have some steady structure in my life which is nice. However, I cannot wait to be back to the carefree University life and nights out that come with the studying”.
A man who has embraced his year working in the city with MasterCard, Christie seems to have settled well into the corporate life. “Work is super interesting, it is far more than I thought it would be, I thought I would just be making teas. I am a Finance Assistant which involves mostly reconciling accounts but I have a really good team around me so it’s always a good laugh.”
The same as many of the new faces this season at Scottish, Ben took his time to settle into a good routine balancing work and the hard training sessions but he has acclimatised to his new lifestyle now. “It was difficult to adjust at first. Coming from Loughborough where I had tonnes of free time to now where I am lucky to have a couple hours free in a day was a real struggle but I have adjusted now and I’m enjoying it, I use my time more wisely now.”
Christie was very complimentary of Scottish and specifically Director of Rugby Dave Morris when it came to his work & training commitments. “Everyone involved has been great helping me find a balance, Dave (Morris) is always understanding when I message him to let him know I’ll be late to training. Scottish have put me at ease for the whole process.”
Ben will return to Loughborough to complete his degree next September, so he is only with Scottish on a one-year contract. He said that he is looking forward to getting back into the swing of Uni life but remains positive as he looks ahead at his aspirations. “I like the thought of one day being a full time pro rugby player, I think that’s the dream of most boys who play at a high level but I am keeping my options open. My final year of university will probably be make or break for as to whether I try and reach new heights.”
Everyone involved with London Scottish will be hoping that Ben can reach his potential but he has his sights firmly set on the task in hand in the B&I Cup against Jersey on Saturday. Who knows, maybe Christie will return to the Richmond Athletic Ground after his final year of studying?
Christie jokingly had some thoughts on what attributes he can bring outside of the rugby pitch to the Scots this weekend.
“Obviously as a flair player, I’ll be looking to bring some speed, dynamism and footwork in the wider channels.” Anyone who is doubting Christie here should check his amazing BUCS University try versus Bath University where he outruns a number of backs from 50 metres for one of the finest prop forward tries in recent times.
He continued, “also as a handsome man I’ll be bringing up the team average in the looks department.” Forever the charmer and sweet-talker, Christie jestingly hints at how any female Scottish supporters could reach out to him, “I am currently single and my DM’s are open to slide into on Instagram.”
Follow Ben on Instagram @BenOnyeama_Christie.
Clearly one of the jokers of the side, Christie has settled very well into his new surroundings with London Scottish and is a very exciting talent. A prop forward with speed like an outside back and the ball-carrying ability of a number eight, Christie is a gem in the Scottish squad and will be looking to make a statement against Jersey this weekend.
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