Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Swinson's Big Century Now within Reach

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Swinson's Big Century Now within Reach

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith

WHEN Tim Swinson made his debut for Newcastle Falcons' second-string on a pitch adjacent to a farmer's field in Yorkshire, few could have predicted he would go on to make a century of first-team appearances.

Sitting in the bar with his ankle puffed up like a balloon following a bruising 22-11 defeat to Wharfedale on a rain-soaked December night in 2006, the bleachblond locks and student lifestyle seemed a world away from the rigours of the Aviva Premiership.

Fast-forward five seasons, however, and the picture looks entirely different as the 24-year-old sits just two games short of the 100 mark. A politics degree is in the bag after completing his studies at Newcastle University, but the eccentricity and charm remain as the London-born lock continues his regime of turning up for training in a suit and tie.

A coat and scarf have been added to the ensemble as the winter draws in, but after 74 league outings and 12 apiece in both Europe and Anglo-Welsh cup action, the 100 mark is coming into view.

Next Friday's home date with Worcester seems the most likely game to reach the milestone, but between now and then remains the prospect of Saturday's trip to Northampton. "I lived around Northampton and played a few games for their A-team when I was younger," said Swinson, who will expect to partner Andrew van der Heijden in the second-row as club captain James Hudson serves the final one of his four-game ban.

"They have loud fans and a decent record there, but from my own point of view I actually love going to Franklin's Gardens. The facilities and pitch are excellent, and for myself it is always somewhere I look forward to playing." Some familiar faces will line up for the Saints, with five of their current squad having featured in the Newcastle ranks for Swinson's Premiership debut. …

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