Tales from Tour: Ryan Chalkley experienced a lot of firsts in Fiji

Ryan Chalkley is certainly adding to his experience on BARLA’s tour of Fiji.

For him this trip has been about firsts. First time on tour, first time on an aeroplane, first time on a boat and first time in a Test team.

The 25-year old Shaw Cross Sharks full-back is having the time of his life.

“It’s a bit surreal at the minute,” Chalkley said.

“It’s not sinking in! I think it will only really sink in when I get home and I think of all the things we have seen and done.”

Reflecting on the recent village visit, Chalkley said: “You don’t realise how much you take for granted until you see how other people live.

“It has been class to see people living their everyday lives, nothing affects them.

“A tour is what the lads make it. We do what we have to, we have a job to do, we have a bit of fun and we go home and get back to our families.”

Looking back on Shaw Cross’ year, Chalkley acknowledged: “It was a bit of a tough one to be fair, we started off pretty well, then we lost our coach.

“He got sacked and a load of players followed him elsewhere. We were left in a bit of a rut. We were traveling to some places without thirteen players and unfortunately ended up getting relegated from Division One.

“Personally, I had a pretty good season. I put quite a few points on the board, and have had one of the best years of my career, obviously culminating in this international call-up.

“I’m here on the other side of the world for the first time in my life, never been on a plane or on a boat before, they are all firsts and they won’t be the last!”

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