Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Rugby in England Is Real Deal for Jamie

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Rugby in England Is Real Deal for Jamie

Article excerpt

JAMIE HELLEUR has ventured abroad to play rugby before, albeit only fleetingly.

He ended up in Portugal of all places, hardly the heartbeat of international rugby.

It was February of 2009, there was a break in his domestic season, and a mate suggested it could be spent by sampling life well away from home.

"I played for a team called CDUL in Lisbon," he told me. "We were successful topping the league and reaching the semi-finals of a cup but the standard wasn't high.

"It didn't help my career but the life was fine for a short while. It was an experience, though coming to England is the real deal.

"What was good was that it helped me decide to broaden my horizons. I went to Samoa on the way home, trialled for them, and was accepted so it sparked off my international career."

The height of Helleur's ambition when a boy about to embark on an exciting adventure was to play Super 15 rugby.

"Of course I dreamed of being an All Black as kids do in New Zealand but that's what is was, a dream. …

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