Will Magie has had to be patient as he waited for his Greene King IPA Championship debut, but once it came it was something of a baptism of fire.
The young fly-half who grew up in Ealing, came off the bench with just over 10 minutes remaining in the match away to league leaders London Welsh on Sunday and despite having international centres Sonny Parker and Tom May threatening to run over him, he acquitted himself well on a day he will never forget.
“When Billy (Robinson) came over and said ‘are you ready to go on?’ I became really nervous all of a sudden, but once I got across the line all the nerves went away and it was just another game of rugby,” he said.
“It was really fun and I really enjoyed it. It was a shame about the result, but personally it was a good occasion for me. It was a special day all round; travelling there and my parents and friends were in the crowd.”
By the time the 21-year-old came on Ealing were 28-0 down against the Exiles, but for much of the match they more than matched a team of players who are favourites for promotion.
In the second half they limited Welsh to a single try through May and Magie is well aware that it is only by playing those types of players that he and the team will achieve their ambitions.
“You want play against the best players and test yourself against the best and they are the best team in the league at the moment,” he said. “I thought we did ok against them, though there were areas where we can improve, but we’ve got to take that into next week and the week after and that should be the standard we set and then we build from there.
“I just tried to get involved; it is always hard coming off the bench, but I just tried to get hold of the ball and make a few tackles, make a few passes. I thought I did ok.
“I’ve been watching Andy kick as that is part of my game that I really want to work on and he’s got a really good range and accuracy,” he said. “It is all about getting in and doing extra practice and Wardy has been really good letting me know what I should practice and what I should be doing.
“I’ve been trying to take my chance when it comes, I’ve played in a few development fixtures and then got the chance on Sunday and can’t wait for the chance of the next one.”