Doncaster Knights forward Jack Ram has handling skills not possessed by every back-rower at Championship level.
The strong-running Ram played a lot of 7s rugby earlier in his career in Tonga which he feels has stood him in good stead.
“I enjoyed playing 7s and you see a lot of good handling by all the players whether they are forwards or backs in the 15-a-side game,” said Ram. “I learnt a lot from playing it.
“I was playing club rugby in Tonga trying to make something happen and I got my opportunity when I was picked to play 7s for Tonga in 2009 and that led to me going over to New Zealand to play for Northland.”
Ram played in the side which beat Fiji for the first time in the Wellington 7s in New Zealand in 2012.
He continued to impress in the 15-a-side game and made his World Cup debut in the 2015 event when coming off the bench against Georgia. He started the next game against Namibia and scored two tries.
“The World Cup was an awesome experience,” he said. “The standard was really high and everything was really professional.”
Ram played the odd Super Rugby games for the Blues that season.
“I was called in to cover for injured players and then I went back to my club side,” he said.
Although Ram celebrated his 31st birthday last month, he still entertains hopes of adding to his Tongan appearances.
“I’m still hoping to be involved at international level with Tonga in the future,” he said with a possible eye on the 2019 World Cup being held in Japan.
Ram is in his second season at Castle Park where he wasted little time in establishing himself as a crowd favourite.
After completing his commitments with the Knights last year, he returned to New Zealand to play for Northland, whose success resulted in him making a later than expected return to Castle Park this term.
Ram managed only a couple of appearances before being sidelined with an ankle injury.
But he was outstanding on return in the defeat to Yorkshire Carnegie in December.
After a head injury, Ram was back for the weekend win at Nottingham, forming part of an impressive back row.
Ram is hoping that he can help Knights finish the season off in style.
His plans after that are still up in the air and he says he may consider taking a break from back-to-back rugby.
Something Knights boss Clive Griffiths feels will benefit him and could boost his World Cup hopes.