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RUGBY: Awcock to face employers in Welsh friendly
10:10am Friday 30th August 2013 in Sport
ALAN Awcock will line up against his London Welsh employers tom-orrow, having appear-ed for them in their first two warm-up matches.
Awcock, from Chilton, near Wantage, has been named on the wing for Henley Hawks, who host the Exiles in a 3pm kick-off at Dry Leas.
His selection adds to an eventful summer for Welsh’s community development officer, who is now training with their first team.
The former Grove RFC junior and King Alfred’s School, Wantage pupil signed for Henley this summer after playing for Newport in the Welsh Premiership.
“I think there are still a few faces who are a bit unsure why I’m involved at London Welsh, but hopefully I’ll get the chance in another game or two and will be able to prove my worth,” said Awcock.
“I enjoy playing rugby, I’ve played it all my life so it’s nice to be able to play in that professional level and be part of what will hopefully be a successful team.”
The idea of Awcock, who has also played for England Students, training with the Welsh first team was initially muted at the club’s golf day last month.
Awcock returned from a week’s holiday to go straight into training twice a week.
“It was obviously a step up from what I’m used to, but I’ve been in a professional environment before where I’ve trained full-time,” he said.
“So I know what’s expected, but to be asked to train with the club after working for it was an honour.”
Awcock should play a big role for Henley as they adjust to life in National 1, but a strong performance tomorrow will also keep him in the thoughts of Welsh head coach Justin Burnell.
“I don’t know if I’ll be involved in any further London Welsh games, but I’ve been asked to continue training with the squad, so I’ll just get my head down and keep working hard,” he said.
On the flipside, fly half Will Robinson will be playing for Welsh against Henley, having helped Hawks win promotion last season.
Robinson signed for the Exiles this summer after being on loan from Wasps at Henley last season.
He said: “It was a great experience; all the lads there were smashing and I’m really looking forward to going back. It will be like a home game for me.
“It’s a good rugby track, especially on a sunny day. It’s nice and flat and it’s good for running rugby.
“Henley are a team that run everything and their fitness is good – Saturday will be a good test for us.
Henley Hawks: O’Neill, Andre, Nutt, Allen, Awcock, Comben, Carter, Manning Dwyer, Penny, Clements, McNally, Woodward, Long, Payne. Reps: Maddocks, Milford-Scott, Church, Wells, Gillespie, Baggett, Bloxham, Bruce, Stapley, Haynes.
- FORMER British & Irish Lions captain, broadcaster and London Welsh Male Voice Choir president Cliff Morgan has died after a long illness, aged 83.
- LONDON Welsh will play their opening British & Irish Cup fixture with London Scottish at Newbury RFC.
The Exiles will use Newbury’s Monks Lane ground for the October 12 clash, but their league games will be at the Kassam Stadium.
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