- Date of Birth16 Jan 2002
The youngest son of former Coventry, London Irish and England front-rower Rob Hardwick, his namesake also plays prop, having progressed from the Stoneygate DPP group into the Tigers academy.
After seeing older brother Tom move up from development level to the Tigers senior squad in the summer of 2019, Rob is keen to emulate this step.
“I started playing rugby when I was six and come from a rugby-mad family,” he says. “I used to play 10 like Tom when I was younger, but moved into the pack as a No8 before becoming a prop.”
A Rugby School pupil, Rob credits former Tigers academy coach Jamie Taylor as a big influence on his career.
Reflecting on his DPP experience, he adds: “You get to know all of the lads from around your area, and it just sets you up for an easier transition.
“There are quite a few of the lads that I came through with in the academy – Matt Potts and a few of the others – who all came through the Stoneygate route.
“Jamie Taylor was pretty influential on me, with lots of work-ons for me and pushing me to be the best that I can be.”
A fan of the physical side of rugby, Rob says he tries to model his game on England loosehead Mako Vunipola.
“He’s pretty skilful and a big lad like me,” Rob explains. “The physicality of the game is a big factor for me. It’s pretty unique to the game, and means there are lots of different skills involved that you need to get right.”
Getting to know you
What is your favourite song to train to?
Post Malone is a good listen.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
The ability to fly would be helpful.
If you could meet any famous person (dead or alive), who would it be?
The rapper Tupac Shakur.