Aaron Liffchak is aiming to kick-start his career after deciding to leave Guinness Premiership side Saracens and sign a two-year contract with London Welsh.
The prop, who is studying for a degree in Psychology and Business at Hertfordshire University, believes the time was right to join the ambitious National League One club that is aiming to win promotion to the Premiership.
The former Queen Elizabeth pupil has found his chances limited at Saracens and made just eight appearances for the first team since joining in 2002, including six this season. He has also represented England at Under 16, 18 and Students levels.
Liffchak said: “I left Saracens with a heavy heart. I enjoyed some great times there and learnt a lot. They gave me the option to stay and continue to push for a first team place or take up this opportunity to join London Welsh.
“At this stage of my career I need to play regularly for the first team. London Welsh have also offered me the chance to do some coaching. Another incentive is that they are turning professional.”
Based in Finchley, Liffchak believes that those in front of him had taught him a lot. “Being only 22, I have taken advantage of being able to learn from some of the best props in the world,” he said. “I feel fortunate that they have taught me so much. Now I am in a position where I’m able to teach other players. For example, at London Welsh I will take the scrummage training.” Nicknamed Liffy, his biggest influence at Saracens was fellow prop, South African international Cobus Visagie. “He is one of the best in the world,” said Liffchak. “And used to go through footage of my performances and sit me down to analysis them. And if I ever had a problem, I could ask him whatever I wanted.” With the Jewish Olympics little over a year away, he said: “Playing for Great Britain at the 2005 Maccabiah was undoubtedly my greatest experience playing rugby.”
He would “love to play” in the 2009 event, but feels that his chances lie in the hands of the London Welsh management team as the event coincides with pre-season training.