Teenage prodigy Sean Brown made his senior bow for Newcastle Falcons in Bucharest at the weekend.
Strutting his stuff on the European stage in the Romanian capital alongside fellow debutants Harrison Collins and George McGuigan, the Newcastle-born winger underlined his credentials as he helped his side defeat Bucharest Wolves 13-12 in Round 1 of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
And the former Sunderland academy goalkeeper,18, who found a steely determination to hang up the gloves and pull out the gum shield when released from the Stadium of Light aged 15, admits last weekend’s trip to Eastern Europe was a big learning curve.
“On these trips you learn a lot about the squad and what it means to them to pull on the Falcons jersey, and it’s a thoroughly professional environment,” said Brown, who went close to crossing the whitewash in the first-half on his first hit-out for the northeasterners.
“Romania was a really interesting place to go and there was a great atmosphere inside the stadium for the game, which really added to the occasion,” he said.
Brown eased into the contest with some neat touches in the backline, and towards the end of the first period he punctured the Romanian’s backline with a killer break only to be thwarted just short of the line.
Reflecting on what the Wolves brought to the table, Brown said: “It was a physical game but it was no different to a Premiership game in that respect, and you have to be prepared for that sort of challenge.
“In terms of our play I thought that we were a little impatient at times, and should have finished off a number of opportunities with ball in hand, but to Bucharest’s credit I thought they showed a lot of heart and fight.”
Now with visions of going toe to toe with the likes of Saracens, Leicester Tigers and Harlequins in English rugby’s top table, Brown is keen to work hard on improving his game in order to make the grade under the tutelage of director of rugby Dean Richards.
“On the back of the Bucharest trip there are certainly things that I need to work on, and those things have been pointed out to me so I know what I need to improve on – hopefully I’ll get my chance again,” said Brown.
The Falcons take on London Irish at home in their next Aviva Premiership outing with tickets still available by calling the Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.