Former Leicester Tigers and England second row Louis Deacon retired four years ago and knowing his passion for construction, he was immediately handed the role of project manager by the Matt Hampson Foundation. This week he got to see the fruits of his labour at the official opening of the Get Busy Living Centre.
Since Hampson’s injury in 2005, the rugby world around him has worked tirelessly in raising funds asnd supporting the foundation that bears his name as Deacon can testify. He told RugbyPass, “The rugby community has always been fantastic. Whether that’s Leicester, Saracens, Gloucester – all of the Premiership clubs have supported Hambo. You can only see that when we have our Six Nations dinner, the amount of players that turn up to that event. Last year we had over fifty players and the England internationals.”
So now the centre is open and treating those with life-changing injuries through sport, what does ‘Get Busy Living’ mean to him? Deacon replied, “It’s Hambo. His positive outlook on life. He’s the pinnacle of the Get Busy Living message where everyday, he strives to help people. He’s here at 12 o’clock on the dot, ready to go. He’s such an inspirational guy, I’ve loved every minute of being able to help deliver the Get Busy Living centre.
Having won 29 caps for England, how does Deacon see secondrow shaping up with just 12 months to go until the Rugby World Cup in Japan? He said: “I think Maro Itoje is obviously the leading figure in that second row, he’s just fantastic – all-round game.
“Kruis in there, Lawes – I played with Courtney. The improvement in Courtney over the last four years has been phenomenal. His all-round game and his ball carrying. Courtney was challenged about getting his hands on the ball a lot more and it’s great to see. There’s a lot of competition in that secondrow area.”
Deacon admits however, that England are not where he might have expected them to be at this stage, saying, “It’s a shame that they’ve probably gone backwards slightly. But sometimes you have to go backwards slightly to go forwards. It’s probably the best time to get all of those bad games out of the way. But now I suppose, going into the autumn and then Six Nations, they’ve really got to start performing.”
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