Jason Dowds is a well-known figure in Belfast’s rugby union community. For Malone, the young player had established a reputation as a dependable, quick, and agile number eight.

Rugby, meanwhile, has a tendency to throw curve balls, and Jason was no exception. The gifted third row took the risky step of switching codes when he relocated to Liverpool to further his education.

Some viewed Dowds’ choice to transfer from rugby union to rugby league as a dangerous one. The young athlete, though, was determined to seize the moment and begin a new phase of his athletic career.

The choice to transition to rugby league was “tough,” according to Dowds.

“The main difference is fitness, there is a lot more running especially being a forward it is tough but I have adjusted to it.”

Dowds believes the switch to the game has come more natural than first expected. He said: “There is a lot more one-on-one tackles so I have had to change some things, but I believe I am adjusting to the game more naturally than first expected.”

Despite the difficulties, Dowds has successfully adapted to rugby league, and his new team, the Liverpool Liobians, is overjoyed with his development.

Lions coach Paul Kelly said: “Jason has been a tremendous addition to our team.

“He has a wonderful mentality both on and off the field and offers a lot of speed and quickness to the team.”

Dowds believes that his move to Liverpool has helped him develop not only as a rugby player but also as a person.

He said: “I’ve had the chance to experience a different culture and meet a tonne of new individuals. So far, the journey has been fantastic.”

It has not gone unnoticed how committed Dowds is to learning and developing his new code. Paddy Armstrong, his previous coach at Malone, has been keeping track of his development and is pleased with what he has accomplished so far.

“Jason was always a tremendous player for us in rugby union. Swapping codes requires a lot of bravery, but Jason has proven that he is ready for the task.”

From Belfast to Liverpool and from rugby union to rugby league, Dowds’ path has been marked by tenacity, diligence, and fortitude. It’s obvious that he has a promising future in rugby league given his love for the game and commitment to learning new skills.

Interview with Jason below: