Purdy keen to further career during time at Otago

New Otago winger Henry Purdy is about to take a pass at Otago training at Logan Park earlier this week. Photo:  Peter McIntosh
New Otago winger Henry Purdy is about to take a pass at Otago training at Logan Park earlier this week. Photo: Peter McIntosh
He has been sent to Coventry but first Henry Purdy is looking to make an impact in the blue and gold of Otago.

Purdy (25) has joined Otago for the Mitre 10 Cup season as he makes the most of an opportunity to see a bit of the world.

Purdy has just finished playing for five seasons with the Gloucester club in England and admitted he is looking to further his career.

''Rather than doing another pre-season back in England which is going on at the moment, the opportunity arose through another couple of avenues,'' Purdy said.

Purdy played and lived with Otago lock Joe Latta in England and is still in touch with him while Otago coach Ben Herring has an association with Gloucester assistant coach Tim Taylor.

Herring got in contact and Purdy jumped at the chance - five days later, he was on the plane to New Zealand.

''Footy is pretty special over here and I wanted to experience a new environment and I thought it would be good for my own rugby,'' he said.

''It is different back home. We grow up watching a lot of Super Rugby while I don't think lads here know much about English rugby.

''I followed it quite a bit when I was younger, Super games and that.''

Purdy was brought up in Oxford and played for England under-18 and England under-20. He then moved to Gloucester to play for the English Premiership club. He has now left there and signed for English Championship side Coventry.

''I like something new. I've only been here a couple of weeks but I'm enjoying it. The standard of play is really high and you have got ball players, one to 15, all over the park and that makes for an open game.

''The motto for these guys is you want to play first, run, kick, pass, so you know you are going to get an open game.''

Purdy felt the game in England was not too dissimilar to New Zealand although there were a few differences.

''I think the non-negotiables here are impressive. Like here everyone is an intelligent rugby player. In things back in England you can say something at a team meeting while over here you just don't have to say it ... it is non-negotiable, as you should know. Just the mindset how you want to attack.''

He said playing under the roof last Saturday was awesome and the side was buzzing to play at home and for the Ranfurly Shield.

Purdy has already fulfilled one official role since arriving in Dunedin.

Latta just got married to his English partner, as the couple were heading to Japan after the season and needed to be wed to fulfil residency requirements.

Purdy stepped up to carry out the best man duties in what was very much a ''relaxed'' ceremony.

He will start on the right wing for Otago and, after an impressive effort last week against Southland, he is looking to kick on against Hawke's Bay tonight.

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