Ben Brownlie makes return to Cambridge Rugby Club
Ben Brownlie has made a return to Cambridge Rugby Club after a six-year hiatus.
The 26-year-old hooker has returned to Volac Park, having been with Nottingham in the Championship since the 2014/15 season.
Brownlie made 23 appearances for Cambridge during the 2013/14 campaign, when the club were in National League 2S, and has since gone on to make more than 50 appearances for Nottingham.
Having completed his studies at Nottingham Trent University, Brownlie, whose family are from Saffron Walden, was looking to forge his career alongside
playing rugby, and started to have conversations with director of rugby Richie Williams about a return to the club before Christmas.
“It’s frustrating for Ben because the employment
opportunities that were there earlier on in the year have now disappeared because of the current backdrop that we’re facing,” said Williams.
“He has a really good CV, a good degree from Nottingham Trent University and has firmly got his mindset on getting a good career and still playing a reasonably good level of rugby at National One.
“We’re really excited to have him back at the club.
“He has four-and-a-half seasons playing Championship rugby and it’s a good calibre of player that we’ve got with Ben.
“What’s made it more attractive for us is that connection with the club having played here five years ago.”
Brownlie will add to the competition for places in the front row, which includes the likes of Mike Mayhew and Will Priestley at hooker.
“If you look at the profile of the hookers we’ve got at the moment, Ben will bring a nice balance to our front row,” said Williams.
“He’s got that physicality from playing a lot of rugby in the back row, he’s done a lot of coaching at Nottingham with a couple of local clubs there so his understanding of the game is very good.
“It will strengthen our options and he is a different type of player and profile to what we’ve currently got.”
Brownlie said: “I’m delighted to have signed with Cambridge for the upcoming season and to continue playing while transitioning into full-time employment.
“I really enjoyed my time here previously which was a big factor when deciding my next steps and after speaking with Richie I was excited by the ambition of the club moving forward.
“I’m looking forward to the new season and getting back on the pitch hopefully sometime in the near future.”
Brownlie’s signing makes it six new players through the door at Cambridge this summer, following in the footsteps of Rob Langley, Jonty Rawcliffe, Anthony Maka, Marc Koteczky and Billy Walker.