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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Cumbrian RL teen eyeing pro deal with Newcastle Falcons

Teenager Jared Stewart is hoping to earn a professional contract with Newcastle Falcons RU after parting company with Super League champs Leeds Rhinos.

Jared Stewart photo
Jared Stewart

The former Haven scholarship prospect set off for Headingley at 16, the day after completing GCSEs at St Benedict’s High School, in Whitehaven, in 2009.

But his highly-promising career was hampered by injuries, and he snapped his cruciate ligament in his first game in six months, following a shoulder dislocation, in last year’s Boxing Day friendly against Wakefield.

With Super League clubs scrapping their Under-20s, the 19-year-old has opted to switch codes and try his luck elsewhere.

“It was my own choice, looking for a fresh start,” he said. “I’m trying to pursue a career in rugby union. It is more of a world-wide sport with more opportunities.”

A back-row forward in RL, he is looking to convert to centre or full-back to meet the different demands of the 15-a-side code.

He is not entirely new to RU as he starred for Aspatria as a junior and was attached to the Falcons. But he had not played the sport for several years before recently taking a fresh look.

The Cumbrian, who is also studying to be a personal trainer, has made a couple of appearances for Newcastle’s Senior Academy and also enjoyed a handful of games for Blaydon, their feeder club.

“My Academy coaches rate me highly but don’t give much away,” continued the former England Under-18 RL international.

“I train every day and I’m starting to find my feet in rugby union. It’s a completely new life and Newcastle’s a great city to live in.”

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