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Player of the week: Tom Broughton

Tom Broughton on his Riversdale farm. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

After six years working and playing rugby in Hong Kong, Tom Broughton has returned home to work on the family farm. CHRIS COGDALE caught up with the East Coast loose forward.

T om Broughton always wanted to play for his childhood club and “to have a go at farming”.

So after 10 years overseas, he and his wife Julia decided to come home.

“We thought the timing was right, and obviously covid was going on. Hong Kong had a whole lot of protests, and it was pretty violent, so we decided that we had done what we had wanted to do over there,” the 34-year-old said.

Tom and Julia, and their three children, all aged under three – Annabelle, Angus, and George – are happy on the Broughton family farm at Riversdale Beach.

The lock-loose forward also hooked up with East Coast and made an immediate impact, being instrumental in the team’s important 17-14 victory over Eketahuna on Saturday.

Tom’s senior rugby career started for the Waihora club in Canterbury, where he made the Red and Blacks’ wider training squad for the 2010 season, including being on the bench for the Waikato game.

He graduated from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Commerce Agriculture and, with Julia, headed to Melbourne. Tom then signed a semi-professional contract to play in Hong Kong, where he captained the Valley club to championship honours.

“There are only six clubs in the premiership, they are all pretty stacked with expats and we had three Super Rugby players,” he said.

“It was good fun. There were guys from all around the world, so it was an easy way to meet people.”

Back home, Tom is loving putting on the Coasties’ red and white strip he last wore as a junior.

“I was never sure it would happen, but they’re an awesome bunch of guys.

“I’m loving it, and the coaches are awesome. There’s a wicked management set-up, and I can’t speak highly enough about it – we get meals on Thursday after training which is a bit of a treat.”

Tom is also impressed with the number of loyal supporters and hopes that the team can repay them with more victories.

“Beating Eketahuna in Eke in fairly wet conditions on their sponsors and old timers’ day was pretty awesome.

“I’m not sure what that top four is going to look like but if we can keep going the way we are, we can hopefully upset the odd team and be there or thereabouts.”

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