Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Another England Skipper Who Can Celebrate

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Another England Skipper Who Can Celebrate

Article excerpt

Byline: By Richard Neale

While two Newcastle Falcons stars of the future were helping England defeat France at Twickenham on Sunday, another was celebrating masterminding an historic double for England Students over the French.

Greg Irvin captained England Students to a 19-10 win on Friday evening to follow on from their 8-6 win in Cahors last month ( the first time an English side had won on French soil for 14 years.

As captain, he could take all the plaudits ( it is his decision whether to kick penalties and his responsibility to keep the players focussed ( but he is happier to complement the professionalism of his team-mates.

"It was a tough game but we attacked more than in France and were in control of the game for large parts," he said. "We really took control after the break and Ryan Owen kicked some great penalties for us to win the game.

"One of them was straightforward but the others were on the touchline and it was my decision whether to kick or not ( but I just looked over at Ryan and he said, 'Yes, I can kick them', and he did.

"We were under a bit of pressure at the end but the lads are well drilled and they knew what they had to do. I just had to make sure nobody lost concentration towards the end when play was stopped.

"It's a great win for us and, as it was the last Students game of the season, a great way to go out. I was back training with the Falcons on Monday and everyone was asking about it, which was nice."

In only his second season for the Students, Irvin was asked to captain the side this season ( something which came as a shock.

"I was lucky to have played well in my first year but was just happy to be in the squad," he said. "But when I was asked to captain the side, it's not something you're going to say no to!

"In the first game I was concerned I wouldn't be able to concentrate on my own game but now I realise it's not something to be worried about.

"In terms of getting the other players up for the game, well it's just something you don't have to do anymore ( they do that themselves. So all I really have to do is make decisions on the field ( such as when to kick ( and talking to the referees. …

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