Radwan relishing Wasps test

Thursday 02 November 2017 Written by: Adam

The 19-year-old flyer was released by the Falcons’ junior academy but re-signed a year later after taking on board the feedback of Newcastle’s coaches.

Catching the eye during the Falcons’ run to the Singha 7s final in July, Radwan scored three tries in as many pre-season games and followed it up with a touchdown on his European Challenge Cup debut against the Dragons.

Playing the full 80 minutes the following week in a memorable 21-20 victory at Bordeaux-Begles two weeks ago, the Teesside tyro said: “It’s been a good year so far, my first as a full-time player and I’ve really enjoyed it.

“I started last season playing National Three North for Billingham, and when I signed my deal with the Falcons I spent the rest of that season with Darlington Mowden Park in preparation for starting with the Falcons in the summer.

“When I got released by the academy a year ago they gave me a few things to work on, I spent some time putting in that work and it was great to see they were as good as their word in taking me back on. I enjoyed the pre-season matches. I just wanted to come in, have a go, and thankfully it seemed to go OK. I’ve played in both of the European games since then, which has been great, and it’s just a good environment to be in with learning from some world class wingers.

“I’m coming into training every day and learning from top class mentors like Niki Goneva, Sinoti, Alex Tait and lads like that. To be with those boys is class, and you can’t fail to improve. We’re all different players, you take a bit from each of them and it’s just a really positive environment.”

Showing fast feet and a natural eye for a gap, Radwan said: “I like to beat defenders, show some footwork and a bit of pace, and I’m someone who likes to have a go. I love scoring tries but I know I have a lot to learn, and that’s what I’m doing every day in training. The senior players here are all very helpful in giving me pointers alongside the coaching staff, and that’s what’s great.

“The Falcons’ game plan suits me as a player because we play at a high tempo, we get the ball wide and I want to be involved. It’s an exciting style, we have players who fit into that pattern and hopefully our supporters enjoy seeing us show that kind of ambition.

“The European games were a big target for me at the start of the season and it was great to get the starts against the Dragons and Bordeaux. Getting two full 80 minutes was brilliant, I’ve learnt so much and it was amazing to be playing at Kingston Park and over in France. They were two very different games, they tested us in different ways but we came through on both occasions.

“Against Dragons we wanted to push on more but we made hard work of it, having to dig in at the end to get the result. Over in Bordeaux we knew they’d fly at us at the start and it was just a case of being patient, which is exactly what happened. That was an awesome experience in a really hostile atmosphere, but we weathered the storm and hit them later on.”

Braced for a fast-paced Anglo-Welsh Cup encounter at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, he added: “Wasps will be a good test down there because they like to play an expansive game, they’re similar to ourselves in many ways but we just need to stick to our strengths and let them worry about us.

“We’re sending down a squad which is more than capable of coming back with a win, we’re well prepared and it has been a good week. We’ve had Mark Laycock, Jimmy Ponton and Scotty MacLeod taking more of a lead role in training, and it has been good fun.”