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Campion stalwart eyes another promotion

PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 February 2014

Stephen Canny

Stephen Canny

Archant

It's been quite a journey for Campion rugby firsts' vice-captain Stephen Canny.

The 29-year-old has played for the club on and off since the age of 17, and bar his first game - which was for the seconds - he’s always played for the first XV.

Now he’s targeting a second successive promotion with the club - something he thinks is an achievable target.

“Things are going really well this year,” said Canny. “We got promoted last season and had a really good pre-season, and then beat a strong Cantabrigian in our first game of the season.

“We’ve played every team at least once and no one really stands out as better than us.

“The difference between Essex 1 and London 2 is marginal. It’s about having the depth of squad and a system that retains players.”

The number eight had the prospect of a professional rugby career snatched away from him by a serious shoulder injury when he was a teenager.

Canny had been in London Irish’s exiles set up while in school before turning out briefly for Leeds Tykes’ academy while at the city’s university.

Now an investment banker for JP Morgan, he keeps in shape by training at the company’s gym - although he admits the lifestyle of those in his profession could be a hindrance. “The diet of an investment banker can be a bit of a downfall. But I manage to keep myself in good shape,” said Canny.

“I workout every day and fit in rugby training with the boys when I can.”

Campion are currently three points clear at the top of London 3 North East.

Scrum leader Canny had a stint as captain a couple of seasons ago which unfortunately ended in relegation.

He still steps up to the plate when the regular skipper is suspended or unavailable. The Goodmayes resident says he keeps playing at amateur level because he loves the camaraderie with his team-mates.

Canny said: “I just love playing rugby, especially with my friends. There’s a great atmosphere around the club.

“My brother was the previous captain and he first got me involved when I was 17.

“The shoulder dislocation was incredibly painful and unfortunately it ended my chances of playing at a higher standard.

“But it’s great to be involved with such a youthful and ambitious club and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

And what does the rest of 2013/14 hold for Campion?

According to the vice-captain, they should go into their remaining eight league games full of confidence.

He said: “We’ve gone from strength to strength in the last few years.

“We’ve had a few injuries and a few important players have moved abroad, but if we keep getting results we can have a successful second half of the season.”

Campion’s next match is at home to Wisbech, who are eighth in the table.

It takes place on Saturday (February 8) at 2.30pm at their Cotton’s Park ground, Cotton’s Approach, in Romford.

For more information on the club visit www.pitchero.com/clubs/campionrfc/

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