Alex Newsome made himself known among rugby circles when, in his run-on debut against the Crusaders, he latched onto a wayward Mark Todd-pass to race 60 metres and score under the posts. The Glen Innes export signed with Super Rugby franchise Western Force in January after trialing with the club and quickly made an impact on the training paddock to earn his first start.
“The team just got announced in the team meeting, we train in teams during the week but the team gets announced in the meeting so that's when I found out so it was pretty cool to have everyone there,” he said.
“I was a pleasantly surprised. I thought I had been training hard and training well but for the first time you never quite think it is going to happen, but when I did get named, it was just one of those feelings where you go 'it is actually happening', so it was pretty cool.”
His runaway try against the Crusaders made fans stand up and take notice of a rugby star in the making.
Newsome built up a reputation as an ‘intercept king’ while playing for the NSW Country Eagles in the National Rugby Championship and said his first Super Rugby five-pointer was a memorable occasion.
“It was a pretty special moment. I was just one of those things that happened,” he said.
A “lifelong dream” for the former Australian under 20, Newsome has adjusted to the step up to the top tier competition.
He said while things are tougher at the higher level, he is thriving in the professional environment and hopes to make a long career out of it.
“A big learning curve is the professionalism of the whole environment, being new to it, but in terms of actual training, the everyday training, it is very intense and the games are very intense so you just have to adapt to that very quickly and just respond to that,” he said. Country areas boast incredible sporting stars and Newsome has a message for any aspiring regional player wanting to make it to the top level.
“People have to give themselves every opportunity and prepare to have a crack at things that they might doubt themselves,” he said.