Tavistocks Luke Northmore signed on with Premiership Club Harlequins at the start of the 19/20 season, after being scouted from his university side Cardiff Met the season previously playing some great rugby at outside centre…

He answered some quick(ish)fire questions for us…

How long did it take to grow your ‘tasche and how do you get such symmetry? (Dan Pearce & Pete Davis) 

I’ve been growing my ‘tasche since “Movember” which I support every year for a great cause. The symmetry comes from hours of staring at myself in the mirror I also use a little comb that helps me trim it straight and keep it in shape! 

How did you get into rugby? Did you play for Devon, if so, what age did you get in? (Shea Simmons) 

I got into rugby at the age of 15, a few friends persuaded me to train with the school team and from there I joined Tavistock RFC. I didn’t play for Devon until I was 17 and I only played one game for them. It’s definitely a good achievement and a successful pathway in rugby, but as I always tell my little brother, it isn’t the be all. 

What does a typical training week look like gym-wise? 

A typical gym week includes 3 or 4 sessions dependant on if you play on the weekend. Monday is an upper body pump, slightly lighter as players are still recovering from the weekend. Tuesday is a lower body session where more heavy lifting occurs, followed by Wednesday which is a heavy upper body session. Dependant on selection there is an option to gym at the end of the week in your own time.  

What does a typical training week look like skills-wise? 

The club runs additional skills sessions a few times a week outside of rugby training sessions and we get extra skills done post session dependant on whatever goals we have. Skills include mini handling drills, tackle technique, kicking drills. 

What are the biggest numbers you’ve put up in the gym?  

I once deadlifted 200kg’s a few years ago at NLFitness HQ, which I haven’t tested since. Squat is my strongest lift which is 210kg and my bench is 150kg. Can’t say I could hit those numbers now, but the reality has sunk in that I’m an athlete and not a powerlifter haha

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Rugby player @lukenorthmore hitting his first 200kg deadlift…and making it look fairly easy ✅

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How did you get so frickin’ fast? (Jamie Turpin) 

Haha, I was blessed with fast twitch muscle fibres, I guess. Although, lifting has made me quicker, incorporating strength and power training in the gym and combining it with good coaching of sprint technique really helped me develop my speed and something I feel I still need to improve on. 

What does a typical day’s food look like, and does it differ in-season and pre-season? 

A typical day eating consists of high protein, I tend to have a protein shake in the morning on my way to work, at work there will be a yoghurt, fruits and granola option followed by a hot option, a scrambled egg and avocado bagel. I’ll drink a protein shake post workout and lunch will be high protein, loads of veggies and a small amount of carbs. I’ll have another meal post training and dinner will be high protein, lower carb, plenty of veg. I’ll increase my carb intake as I get closer to game and Saturdays ill have a treat, post-game, balance is key!

What tactics do you utilise for recovery after hard games and training sessions? 

Recovery is a massive part of being a rugby player, each day there is an option for a massage, ice baths, stretching, pool sessions, sauna, steam room. Whatever options you can think of to recover, there is probably an option to do it! For me personally I will occasionally plunge in the ice bath, but I take full advantage of massage post sessions and on days off I like to go for a light swim and stretch followed by a sauna to sweat it all out. 

Who’s the best player you’ve played with so far? 

Tricky question, there are a lot of great players at quins for many different reasons. Chris Robshaw is an exceptional leader and Danny Care is a maverick, there are many others, it would be too hard to choose. 

Who’s the best player you’ve played against so far?  

There have been a few in the games I’ve been involved in, but I’d have to say Charles Piutau, he’s a very big man with incredible skills and extremely good feet. Tough to defend against.

Is there a specific conditioning drill/test the whole squad dreads? 

The Bronco, everyone dreads the bronco on the first day of preseason. The bronco consists of 5 reps of 20m and back, 40m and back, 60m and back as quick as possible. It’s a brutal test that ruins your legs and the lungs!! 

What advice would you give to young players looking to progress? 

My advice to young players would firstly to be, enjoy the process and the hard work. There is no point in doing something if you don’t enjoy it. Secondly, connect with someone in the know. I was lucky to become friends with Nick right at the beginning of my rugby and gym journey, I spent time learning from him and creating a good foundation to build upon. Finally, as cliché as it sounds, work hard for the things you want. 

A big thanks to Luke for taking the time to answer these questions.