Lewis Warner hopes his Plymouth Albion chance will come soon
LEWIS WARNER narrowly missed out on making his Plymouth Albion debut last Saturday at Moseley, but the 21-year-old hopes it will not be too long before his chance does come.
The centre was all set to come on in the closing stages at Billesley Common but Albion had to change their plans when fellow centre Toby Howley-Berridge was sin-binned.
It was the second time in Albion's opening four matches, Warner had been an unused replacement.
But the Dorest & Wiltshire player, who has recently signed a contract with Albion, says he is just delighted to have been in club's matchday 22 so early in his Brickfields career.
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"I was unfortunate on Saturday to just miss out due to that sin-binning," he said.
"It was just one of those things, but it just motivates me even more.
"I just have to keep training really well during the week.
"Eventually my time will come.
"And then you just have to try and showcase what you can do when you do get that opportunity.
"I just have to stay focused and keep my eyes on the prize."
He added: "It is a great team, so it is bound to be hard to get into it.
"But I am just raring and waiting for my chance.
"I am new to the club so to be on the bench for the first game and the last one has been great.
"It is more than I could have hoped for really at this stage."
Warner is certainly enjoying his time at Albion.
"It is my first experience at a professional club and it has been brilliant," he said.
"The last four months have been amazing."
Warner has not got the usual background for a 21-year-old Championship rugby player.
"For the last three years I have been playing rugby league," he said.
"I have just finished my degree at Gloucester University.
"I was playing full-back for them last three years there.
"I was playing in the Super Eights, which is the highest student league, and I also played for Wales Students.
"I was lucky enough to represent them at two home nations (tournaments).
"Before that I was briefly at Clifton in Bristol.
"But I am just excited to be back playing union.
"I grew up playing rugby union.
"My local club was Wimbourne. I played there at colts level and a bit at senior level before I went to university."
Warner played at county level at under-18s, under-20s and senior, but with no union experience behind him for three years, he took to writing to clubs on spec in the summer in the hope of landing a chance somewhere.
He said: "I sent out a player profile to a number of clubs and I was fortunate to get the opportunity to come down to Plymouth for a trial throughout the summer and pre-season.
"And then I was lucky enough to get a contract. I have got a contract for the season.
"But I just have to keep working hard and progressing as much as I can and, hopefully, Nat (Saumi) will like me and I can continue playing for them in the future."
Up until this month, Warner has been combining his rugby with work, but now Albion have managed to find room in their budget to offer him a contract, he can now concentrate more on his playing career.
However, hopes to do some more studying while also playing.
"I was working to start with as I had to finance my living down in Plymouth to start with," he said.
"But I am stopping work now and I am hoping to do a post-grad at the university.
"Hopefully, I am going to study marketing and strategy.
"I did international business at uni and I just want continue to educate myself."