SHORTLY after the final Titans game of the season, Richard Kitzinger sat down for a rugby chat with retiring legend of Taunton RFC, Brett Harvey.

After eleven seasons with the Taunton Titans, the popular second row has reached the decision that it’s time to enjoy the game from the other side of the whitewash.

We run through some of statistics, kindly provided by Richard Walford.

Brett made 158 appearances for the Titans, scoring 19 tries. “Is that all?” he exclaimed, sounding slightly embarrassed.

His exit velocity is good though – in his final season he has played 20 times and scored 4 tries.

“I’d been thinking about it since the end of last season,” admitted Brett.

“After Twickenham and winning there with Somerset I thought ‘Do I go now? I’ve got the perfect ending.’ But it came off the back of a knee injury and missing six months of Taunton’s season. So I didn’t want to end my career without a proper Taunton ending.”

His first game for Taunton, against Redruth, was the first time the team had been branded ‘Titans’ and, as well as giving him his debut, Tony Yapp appointed Brett captain.

“Yappy and I were talking a few weeks ago,” Brett recalled, “About how I came out of Level 7 or 8 and look at the players I’ve played with. Even this year, Mani [Feyi-Waboso, now a Premiership player with Exeter Chiefs], George Worboys, Jordan Venter, Ewan Richards, Charlie Rice… and you go back and you’ve got Joe Simmonds, Sam Skinner – a full international player – Dan Frost, it’s a long line of very good players who’ve gone on to great things. I have to say Jake Woolmore because those are the rules!”

“I was not the most talented of rugby players but to get the chance to play with those and see what they’ve gone on to achieve is a real privilege.” At this point I accused him of selling himself short. He laughed and said, “I always will.”

Back to the subject of that last game, the nail-biter with Leeds Tykes where the destiny of Titans rested also on the outcome of Esher’s home game with Rams.

“The training week set the tone for what we knew we had to do,” explained Brett. “Whatever happened at Esher would happen – I’m not sure the score announcements during the game helped, mind you – but Yappy and Browner brought an extra sharpness and intensity to the week. We just knew we had to come out and do our bit. We couldn’t have been better prepared and we were absolutely ready in all aspects of our game.”

It was, personally, a great way for Brett to end his playing career. He was named man-of-the-match and it was not merely a sentimental choice. He emptied the tank and made sure that he, in his own words, “Ticked off everything I wanted or needed to do before not being able to do it ever again.”

President of Taunton RFC, Gary Kingdom, alongside whom Brett has made the great majority of his Titans appearances, reflected on that loyalty, “You don’t get a lot of players playing their whole career at one club any more. He’s the ultimate clubman.”

Titans team manager, Steve Frost, joined the plaudits, “He is an outstanding player, a true gentlemen and a fantastic supporter of our youth section and the club as a whole.”

Amidst all the tributes to him, Brett was also keen to acknowledge his wife, “Jess’ support has meant that I could play rugby. Especially in the last few years with children. She’s picked up all the work where I’ve gone off to play or coach or go on a course. I wouldn’t have been able to commit to the level I’ve played without her. So she’s owed an awful lot of thanks.”

What does the future hold for Brett Harvey?

“I don’t really know much else besides rugby,” he confessed. “So I’ll have to earn my living from the game.”

He’s already the Head Coach of Men’s Rugby at Bridgwater and Taunton College and heavily involved with coaching in the Bristol Bears pathway too.

The final word goes to Tony Yapp because his years as Head Coach thus far correspond precisely with Brett Harvey’s time as a Taunton Titan.

“From the moment Brett joined the club his commitment to Taunton RFC hasn't wavered at all, and his attitude to training and games is a great example to the young players coming through. I can’t speak highly enough of Brett and what he has done for the club. He’s a large part of where we are today.”

Richard Kitzinger writes website and match-day programme content for Taunton RFC. By day he is a Will writer and can be contacted via or through his website