Rugby is great in all senses, and the rugby-related experiences are the greatest in life, or so would Nicholai Grech (37) lead you to believe. For him, the game is about discipline and camaraderie, knowing someone always has your back for the entire 80 minutes of the game. The team builds an eternal bond.
For Nicholai, this bond started comparatively late – at the age of 26. After a couple of years of doubt, one of his now best friends asked him to join, and he never looked back ever since.
Today Nicholai leads a busy life, with frequent travels abroad, and his job does not make keeping easy, as it involves a lot of dining out, travels and wine tastings. He has to make it a point to dedicate time to train. Looking back, he remembers some of the most special people in his life, the victories that crown all the hard work, and the defeats that he carries very close to his heart.
Eve: If any of our readers were interested in trying to break into rugby, what would you recommend them to start with?
Nicholai Grech: DO IT. We all need a little bit of rugby in our lives. All you need is determination. And let’s face it, which sport gives you the opportunity to run havoc for 80 minutes and enjoy a cold beer with your mates after? So if you want to join us, find the Kavallieri RFC page on Facebook and send us a private message.
Eve: What have been your highlights during these last past five years in rugby?
NG: I became one of the veterans on the team. This comes with a lot of responsibility, as you have to be an example to the younger guys who are not in the team. Many times, without even knowing it or feeling it, the kids will look up to you.
The past five years were not the best for Kavallieri RFC. We won our last league in 2012, and the Ray Elliot Cup in 2013. One of the greatest highlights was captaining my team to a cup victory. The Maltese season starts with the Ray Elliot Cup, which is a cup named after an ex-Kavallieri coach who had passed away a couple of years ago. It is a very special cup for our team since Ray Elliot was one of us. In our team, we had his son Rhys playing for us. It was a very emotional moment, that I played one of my best games on the day and won the cup.
I also had a brief retirement from rugby the past season. However, the team needed numbers, and I accepted [their invitation]. The feeling of being back on the pitch was amazing.
Eve: How would you describe your relationship with money?
NG: Very bad. Unfortunately, I have expensive tastes. I love good wine, good food, nice clothes. I love travelling, and all this comes at a premium. So as far as I can remember, my bank account is always playing catch-up with me. However, this makes me work even harder to be able to sustain a good life.
Since Nella was born, my priorities changed too, and I have to administer my money differently. My habits and hobbies are satisfied only after I know she is set.
Eve: Is fashion an important part of your life?
NG: Very important. I love fashion. I do not have one particular style, as it depends a lot on my state of mind and mood. I love suits, even though I almost never wear a tie. I feel very comfortable in a suit, and I lost count of the number of blue suits I have.
However, the style which describes my mood most is my casual attire. Sometimes I like a shirt and jeans, and a nice pair of white trainers. Other times, I dress it up a little bit, put on a nice blazer and a nice pair or shoes.
I think fashion is a great way of expressing who you are or what you feel without having to utter a single word. I even try to look good when at home, I will want my hair nicely done, even before I go to sleep, and you will not find me walking around at home with items that do not match.
Eve: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
NG: In ten years time I’ll be approaching the big 50, which is a great milestone. Probably I’ll be chasing some weird guy who will be hitting on my daughter. I’ll definitely be still working, I love my job, and hopefully, in ten years’ time, our business will be reaping the fruits of all the effort we put into it.
I wish I owned a holiday home in France or in Italy, as my love for wine keeps taking me to these two countries. Hopefully, health permitting, I will still be in good shape, I’ll be still surrounded by my loving family, and be ten years wiser than I am today.