- Adam Brocklebank only started playing aged 17
- Brocklebank has since been capped by Newcastle Falcons
From a young man who wasn’t interested in playing sport to a university rugby player representing with England Students and Newcastle Falcons, it’s been quite a journey for Durham’s Adam Brocklebank.
“I didn’t really do much sport at all,” says Brocklebank who only took up the sport when he was 17.
“I just went to school, came home and did what every other normal kid does, just play on the consoles and stuff. And then my mum was like, you need to do something. My nearest sports club was a rugby club. So I went to that rugby club and absolutely loved it.”
The 21-year-old Sports Science student is now playing his fifth season of rugby having earned a place at Durham University where he caught the eye of both England Students and Newcastle Falcons.
England Students Pride
For Brocklebank, being selected into the England Students squad that travelled to France and Ireland in April 2016 was “a really proud moment.”
“The experience of getting selected in the squad was amazing news to get. It’s quite an experience. As a group we came together quite well, and that was helped on by the coaches. We’ll remember it for quite some time.”
“England Students puts the best 28 players in that shop window,” says Brocklebank. "It gives us that opportunity to showcase ourselves and who we are and who we can play for."
Newcastle come knocking
Brocklebank’s inclusion as a substitute prop in the Newcastle Falcons side that faced off against Saracens in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on 12 November is proof that he is on the rise this season.
Brocklebank, who is signed on as a member of the Falcons Academy, remembers how he heard about his selection for the 1st XV: “I nearly had forgot my laptop at home and I went to pick it up, and saw my parents. On the way back up I got a call from my coach saying that they’d like to involve me in the squad on the weekend against Saracens.
It was a dream, playing in front of all those people. I absolutely loved it. It gives you that desire and hunger to keep working hard.”
Not the result @FalconsRugby wanted today but an unforgettable experience making my debut— Adam Brocklebank (@Brocklebank895) November 12, 2016
But Brocklebank isn’t just working hard on his rugby. He is determined to finish his degree at Durham so he can have a career after his rugby days are over, although he added that he hopes his rugby career has a long way to go.
“I don’t know how far I’ll go. I’d like to go all the way, and maybe if I keep my head down, keep trying hard, maybe something will come of it.”
Peace of mind
Brocklebank also encourages up-and-coming rugby players to not forgo a university degree, pointing out that the England Students programme ensures that talented players won’t get lost in the shuffle, and it gives you a backup plan.
“I’ve got this degree to fall back on, I’ve got something there to carry on and do the rest of my life. Fortunately England Students understand that. They help if you’re struggling.
“It’s really important. If you can juggle both, definitely do it. It gives you that comfort, so when you’re playing rugby you’ve not got that stress of, what am I doing after rugby, or if I get injured in next week’s game, what am I going to do with myself?”
What Brocklebank plans to do with himself in the near future, though, is continue his dramatic rise through the ranks, hopefully with more 1st XV matches for Newcastle and England Students on the horizon.
“It’s been a very quick roller coaster,” Brocklebank says. “It’s a very quick progressing through the ranks. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it so far and hopefully I’ll keep progressing.”