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RUGBY UNION: Newman's eager for pro career
RYAN Newman would love to forge a professional rugby career after making his first-team debut for London Welsh.
The 26-year-old, who lives in Botley, Oxford, started at openside flanker in Welsh’s LV= Cup defeat to Newport Gwent Dragons at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday.
And although he had to go off with a hamstring injury after just 13 minutes, the Henley Hawks player has already impressed the Exiles coaches.
“If the opportunity is there with London Welsh or someone similar, I would definitely take the chance at this stage,” said the New Zealander.
“I have got a career I can be doing for a long time, but with rugby I have got four to five good years left.”
Newman, who works as an architectural technician with TSH Architects in Farmoor, said the hamstring problem was not as serious as initially feared and he should only be out for two or three weeks.
However, he admitted: “It was pretty disappointing to be honest, even if it had happened after 70 minutes I would have felt that.
“I trained with them for a couple of days and went into the game really confident that I was capable of playing at that level.
“I got into the game early and felt good, but it wasn’t to be.”
Newman appeared for Welsh in three of their A League matches earlier in the season, which helped earn him a first-team chance.
“I got some really good feedback from Lyn Jones,” he said.
“He kept in touch with the idea of me playing some LV games. It just happened that this game worked best with Henley.”
Although a proud Kiwi, Newman played for Australia Schoolboys and was part of the Queensland Reds academy.
He later joined up with Otago’s National Provincial Championship (NPC) squad in New Zealand, but a broken leg kept him out for a year.
Newman then moved to Oxford in 2009 where he played for Oxford Harlequins before joining Henley in 2011.
Regarding a future with Welsh, Newman said the club “keep things quite close to their chest”.
Head coach Jones said: “I thought Ryan did very well for 15 minutes.
“We struggled after he left the field.”