Adam Brocklebank hopes to continue his rugby rise when Newcastle Falcons travel to Montpellier in Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup assignment.
The 23-year-old was part of the squad which beat the French outfit in October’s home leg, the loose-head prop enjoying a breakthrough season after graduating from Durham University.
“I’ve managed to get a bit of game time this season which I’m very grateful for, I’ve been working hard with the coaches and it has been a big learning curve," he said.
“It’s a big step up from the A-Team to the first team, it’s a lot more physical and the passages of play go on for a lot longer, but you just have to get used to those situations and go through the learning process.
“Some days in pre-season you think ‘a game is never going to be as hard as this’ but then you play in the Premiership or the Champions Cup, and it is!
“As you get more used to those situations you gradually start to adapt to it a bit more, but you’re always learning. I just keep listening to the coaches and to experienced players like Davey Wilson, and by doing that you become a better player.”
Keen to use Europe as a means by which to build momentum for their Premiership push, Brocklebank said: “Everyone’s still turning up every day and doing the best they can, everyone wants to win and we’ve still got a smile on our face. We’re here to do a job, the mood in the camp is fine and we’re still confident we’ll turn it round.
“It’s not a different focus from the Premiership, because we aim to win every game.
“We’ve already shown this season we can do it against teams like Montpellier and Toulon, we’ll stick in until the final whistle and regardless of the tournament the focus is just on winning.
“Like most French teams they’ve got a lot of big guys, the onus will be on us to try and out-smart them in certain areas and the crowd I’m sure will be getting into it. I loved the atmosphere out in Toulon when we won there with the home fans getting really hostile, and I really feed off that.”