Rugby star Desmond's 'Prop Art'

SCULPTOR Desmond Brett will be aiming to chisel out a Twickenham victory for his side in today'sTetley's County Shield final.Brett, 30, who will be playing for the Eastern Counties against North Midlands, has an unusual background for a prop forward – he has a degree from the Slade School of Fine Art.

SCULPTOR Desmond Brett will be aiming to chisel out a Twickenham victory for his side in today'sTetley's County Shield final.

Brett, 30, who will be playing for the Eastern Counties against North Midlands, has an unusual background for a prop forward - he has a degree from the Slade School of Fine Art.

Brett, from Bury St Edmunds, admits he lives a double life.

He teaches sculpture at Hills Road sixth form college in Cambridge and builds welded steel installations that have been exhibited all over the country.


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In the other he is a talented loose-head prop who played in the 2001 Varsity Match for Cambridge, and then in the National Leagues for North Walsham, Henley and Blackheath.

"Some of my team-mates regard me as someone with long hair who's a bit of a weirdo," said Brett.

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"They used to call me 'Potter' at Henley because they couldn't get their heads round what I did and a few of the guys at Blackheath asked if I could weld things on their cars for them.

"As an under-21 I was involved at Saracens and with rugby in London before I packed it in for a while to concentrate on art.

"But rugby's always been very important to me because it's totally different to the world I inhabit of art galleries and openings. It's about stepping out the back door and becoming someone different."

His artistic work has been exhibited in London, Cambridge and Norwich and he has a residency in Rotterdam this summer.

That success led to him turning down the chance to spend a season in Ireland at Ballymena, with long-term admirers Blackheath snapping him up to join the side that lifted National Three South title last month.

Eastern Counties, made up of the union of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, have beaten Buckinghamshire (44-14), Kent (29-15), Dorset & Wilts (37-17) and Essex (32-15) to earn their big day out.

They are already guaranteed a place in the Tetley's County Championship next season, among the top 16 county sides.

The Eastern Counties v North Midlands game is followed by the Tetley's County Championship final between Devon and Gloucestershire at 1pm.

Then the Premiership takes centre stage with Leicester Tigers facing Sale Sharks at 3.30pm in the Zurich Wildcard Final, before Wasps face Bath at 6pm in the Zurich Premiership Final.

Tickets for all four games cost £26 and £32 with a half-price concession for under-16s and are available from Ticketmaster on 0870 9020000.

david.vincent@eadt.co.uk

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