Beech aims to grow and prosper
ENGLAND rugby star Josh Lewsey insists Stevenage s Charlie Beech will thrive Down Under after the Wasps prop was selected to play for New Zealand side North Shore this summer. The 20 year old, who made his debut for Ian McGeechan s Premiership title-chasi
ENGLAND rugby star Josh Lewsey insists Stevenage's Charlie Beech will thrive Down Under after the Wasps prop was selected to play for New Zealand side North Shore this summer.
The 20 year old, who made his debut for Ian McGeechan's Premiership title-chasing side earlier this season, will link up with former Wasps coach Craig Dowd after Wasps' season concludes.
World Cup winning skipper Martin Johnson served a year-long apprenticeship in the land of the All Blacks before going on to to grab glory with Leicester and England.
And Lewsey believes Beech, who started out at Biggleswade Rugby Club, will come back fitter and stronger for the experience.
He said: "Charlie will be going out to work with Craig (Dowd) in New Zealand and that is going to benefit them enormously.
"I think they are going to really thrive because it is a different rugby culture and it will give them a whole new outlook on the game.
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"Hopefully we will get them back and they'll be in better shape and have played some games. The challenge for them now is to get first-team experience and deliver when they get that chance."
Beech has already represented England from under-16 to under-20 level but his path to regular first-team rugby is currently blocked by international props Tim Payne and Phil Vickery.
And while fellow Wasps youngster Danny Cipriani is blazing a trail across English rugby, Lewsey warned Beech he will have to wait a bit longer for his crack of the whip.
The 31 year old added: "Fly-halves are judged on their decision making and how they perform on the field - you can do that very early if you have the ability.
"With props it is different. On the most basic level their job is to beat up the opposition, so you are not going to get many 21 year olds outmuscling a 32-year-old gnarly old man.
"Charlie is going to have to be patient but there is a culture at the club where we will always give players a chance to make their mark rather than bring in some superstars.
"All the front five take longer to break through but then you do last longer once you have made it."
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