Introducing the new academy under lights series where we introduce the RugbyWA Community to the next generation of WA talent.
Name: Reece Anapu
Reece how are you enjoying life in the RugbyWA Senior Academy?
It’s been great, it’s enjoyable, I’m able to learn a lot of things with strong staff behind us, like Dylan Parsons been our head coach, and Steve Anderson looking over the entire program.
What inspired you to play rugby?
To be honest I think I was just born into a family that had a huge passion for the game, a bit cliche I know. But I think my surroundings of my parents being quite athletic as well as my aunties and uncles and my brothers passion for rugby gave me a lot of exposure to rugby so I was easily attracted to it.
What is your favorite rugby memory?
I have to cherish winning the colts competition with the UWA boys in 2018, that sits on the pedestal.
Outside of the rugby spectrum, what career aspirations do you have?
There are a few things that certainly come to mind when I think of other career aspirations. I fancy myself at golf. So, a career on the Pro Tour would be interesting.
What do you feel are your biggest strengths as a rugby player?
As a half-back I like to think I have a good running game, just being able to draw in the ruck defenders is a pivotal part of my game, and just having a crack at the defence is a pleasure of mine.
Is their any player past or present that you model your style of play on?
I wouldn’t say I’m inspired by any Super Rugby or test players, but former Western Force half-back and RugbyWA Senior Academy member Michael McDonald is someone I really looked up to when he was coming through the WA system. A lot of that is due to the success he has had over the past two years, obviously last year he debuted for the Force and now he’s signed with the Waratahs.
How has the RugbyWA Senior Academy taught you to be a better person?
Tough question. A big part of the Academy is our culture sessions. Those sessions encourage us to reflect on what it is to be apart of the academy and what it means to be a RugbyWA rugby player, but they have also given me an ample of life skills which has in essence shaped me into a leader.
You have just returned from the Junior Wallabies set-up in Canberra with a few other RugbyWA boys, how was that for an experience?
It was an awesome experience to go up against the best of the best in the country in our age bracket. The opportunity to be there was a privilege in itself, but the biggest thing I took out of the trip was the ability to take in an abundance of knowledge of the game and to learn a bit more of the technical and strategic side of the game
Do you consider yourself a cheeky scrum-half?
I think it’s fair to say I do open my mouth a fair bit. Plenty of my teammates and opposition would be in agreement on that one.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I don’t know if it is a talent or not but I can finish a Rubik's Cube in just over a minute.
What do you hope to achieve with the RugbyWA Senior Academy in 2020?
By the end of the year I would like to have helped build a solid culture within the academy group so there is a good environment for the boys. On a personal note I’m hoping to make the Australian U20’s side for the junior World Cup in Italy during the year.
How has Steve Anderson helped develop your game since you your introduction to the RugbyWA Senior Academy
Steve has unquestionably had a significant impact on my rugby career in terms of developing me on and off the field, he’s shaped me to become a leader, he has enhanced my skills at scrum-half and he has had a profound influence on amplifying my knowledge for the game. One thing that stands out for me with Steve is that he has given me the range to step up as a player, and with him handballing me the huge responsibility to be part of the leadership group within the academy this year, that has ultimately allowed me to grow as a bloke.
Can you see yourself playing any other position on the rugby field other than half-back?
I really enjoy playing in the outside-backs, playing a little bit of outside centre and I fancy myself under the highball and playing in space so from time to time I slot into fullback.
What drives you to get up in the morning and go and train everyday?
My family is a driving factor that keeps me going. I always have them in the back of my mind. Especially my mother. She has sacrificed a lot for me and without her and my family’s support I would not be where I am today.