This week in our Citizen Watch Spending Time series, we caught up with former Rebel point scoring machine Jason Woodward.
What has post-Super Rugby life looked like for you?
Post Super Rugby life has been really good. I am currently in my 3rd season for Gloucester in the Premiership here in the UK. Although I do miss playing Super Rugby, it has been great to experience footy over this side and to find a home at a club I really enjoy.
Personally, living close to Europe was a big draw card as my wife Rachael and I have been keen to do a bit of travelling.
We have a 2-year-old daughter, Elsie and our second is on the way.
You’ve played professional rugby in NZ, Australia and now, England – what have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced playing overseas?
One of the biggest differences playing here compared to Aus and NZ is the amount of structure.
In Super Rugby, your structure is there to create an opportunity and you have a real license to attack.
Northern Hemisphere footy is more about staying in structure and sticking to a game plan. I think winning teams tend to find a good balance of both.
Have you been following the Rebels 2020 campaign?
I always try to keep an eye on how the Rebels are going, it’s a bit hard to catch games with the time difference but it was good to see them string a couple of wins together before the season got put on hold.
I played a fair bit of club rugby for Upper Hutt in Wellington with Anaru Rangi so it’s been good watching him do well for the Rebels.
What were some of your favourite memories during your time at AAMI Park?
A couple of games stick out. Picking up our first win over the Waratahs in 2013 and beating the Brumbies 32-24 in 2014 was a great win.
I think the one that sticks out the most was the 38-37 win over the Highlanders at the end of the 2013 season.
We were down 31-7 at half time. We had been playing terrible and then come second half the flood gates opened, and Bryce Hegarty scored in the last play of the game to win it.
There were a lot of good people leaving the club after that game, so it was nice to sign off with a win.
Who was your favourite teammate to play with and why?
I always enjoyed running out with Bryce Hegarty. Bryce was a good play maker and easy to link up with from full back. And even though he had a pair of chicken legs he was bloody quick.
We had a lot of laughs on the field, mainly at one of our expense.
What do you miss the most about playing for the Rebels?
Living in Melbourne was awesome. Its something me and Rach look back on a lot.
The easy-going lifestyle and the amount of good coffee joints around the place kept us pretty busy on our days off.
I remember being at the beach, with Ged Robinson and Scott Fuglistaller one night having a swim around 8 o'clock and thinking there’s no beating this.
The Atmosphere at AAMI park on game day was always something that’s stuck with me too. That Stadium is one of a kind.
Melbourne is known for its strong coffee and café culture – during your playing days, where was your favourite spot to go during a day off?
Seddon Deadly Sins, Seddon. This was a Ged Robinson go too, and quickly became a favourite of ours.
I wasn't a big coffee drinker at the time but this place quickly converted me and the food was always good.