Brown relishing his first start for Albion
ALEX BROWN will make his first start for Plymouth Albion tonight when they take on Munster A at Temple Hill in their final British & Irish Cup match of the season (7pm).
Former Doncaster prop Brown has joined Albion on a dual-registered agreement from Premiership side Exeter Chiefs.
The 23-year-old was originally made available to Plymouth by Exeter at the start of December but a calf injury delayed his debut for the Championship side.
However, he finally pulled on an Albion shirt for the first time last weekend when he came on as a replacement against Rotherham.
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Brown enjoyed his first run out at Brickfields, even though Albion lost 21-3 – a result that ended their hopes of progressing in the cup.
"It was really good actually," Brown said about his debut. "The conditions were a bit tough but it was really good to finally get on and play. That was the important thing – just pulling a jersey on no matter what the conditions were like.
"I just needed to get a bit of rugby under my belt."
He added: "I have had one of those seasons where you get one injury after another.
"But it is good to finally get down here (to Albion)."
Brown only had 25 minutes to impress last week, but he has a big chance tonight to make his mark on Albion's coaching staff when he lines up in the number three shirt against Munster A.
"It is one of those big opportunities to go over there, play a big team and stake a claim," said Brown. "They (Munster) will probably put a lot of first teamers in there, players with experience, as they do like winning the B&I Cup, so it will be good to put a marker down."
On what he hopes to get out of his dual-registration spell with Albion, Brown, who has also played for Bedford Blues, said: "I am looking to get game time and enjoy playing.
"I think sometimes you can become a professional trainer. But you want to play as it is your job. I want to get better and, hopefully, I can help Plymouth out at the same time as well."
Brown was a regularly starter for Doncaster last season in the Championship, but he agreed to move to Exeter, despite the fact he knew he would not walk straight into their Premiership side.
He said: "There are a lot of great players there (at Exeter) and that is half of it. I am still young as a prop and it is about learning from those guys as well as playing.
"It is a mutual thing. Hopefully, I help them with a bit of competition and they help me come on."
He added: "I might not be playing as regularly but I think I have gone to Exeter and grown as a person.
"The environment there does push you and it makes you a better player.
"But it is great to have this link here between Plymouth and Exeter. It means you can play and train at the same time, rather than just training 24/7."
Having played for Doncaster and Bedford, Brown knows all about the Championship.
"It is a tough environment to play in," said the Rochford-born prop. "The pace might be a little slower but the physicality is definitely there and that is something as a prop you learn very quickly – it is not a stroll in the park at all."
Albion have been struggling for wins in the last few months in the league. They have only won one Championship match since the end of September.
But Brown has been impressed with what he has seen so far at Brickfields.
He said: "Every team goes through some rough patches, but I definitely think the ability is there and that's half of it. You do go through these patches in seasons but it is about pulling together as a team."