Nathan Campbell: The Making Of The Beast


The name Nathan Campbell, will forever be part of Jamaican Rugby League legend, as he is the first player to leave the island and sign a professional contract. The man referred to as "The Beast" has inspired many more to take up the sport"

Rugby League runs deep with this man, it helped him grow as a person and was therapeutic to the anger he held inside him, fuelled by the bullying he experienced in his teenage years. This is his story, in his words "I Went to maggotty high school, then St. Elizabeth technical high and then 6 form at Black River high. The area was very quite and peaceful, but  I was a very troubled child and this is because other teens made fun of my dark complexion."

"I had anger issues growing up and loved to have my own way. Therefore I had a lot of issues with teacher and peers who wanted to prove me wrong or to change my opinion."

Nathan would finish high school and pursue further academic studies, this is where Rugby League would find him. "I came to Kingston to get a college degree and be the first person from my family to do so. Due to my athletic background I was invited to try a new sport at the university by Matthew Simms who was the hooker and at the time."

"I met the coach (Ricardo Bramwell) who taught me the basics of the game. I had a natural aggression which made other players fear me as well as I was very physical and fast. I have a natural knack for the sport and so I was invited to the national training by the coaches ( Romeo and Roy) who finished the molding process."

Campbell would attend the Wolfpack trials, that's where he would get his big break, Toronto offering him a 3 month contract becoming the first Jamaican born and bred player to sign a professional Rugby League contract.

When playing with the Wolfpack, it was there he would realise just how little was being done by the governing bodies to support players outside of the tier 1 and 2 status. "It was good exposure to the world of rugby and a unique experience all over. I was very disappointed that not much was done by the RFL to support my growth and development but otherwise I got a great deal of professional training in a elite environment and had the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the great players of the game."

Nathan is currently back in Jamaica but his plans to play Rugby League have hit a major snap, saying "I'm back home now finishing my degree, I was making plans to go back to England to play again but the team that is to take care of the trip seems to be having issues finding housing and some from of employment to take care of myself while I'm there. So I don’t have a league team that I am playing for at the moment but I should be playing some rugby union in the summer in New York. "

This is just one of the issues Jamaican players face due to strict visa restrictions, hopefully things work out and we don't lose another homegrown star of the game to another sport.

Pom



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