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Alex Brown helps Exeter Chiefs to shock victory against Harlequins
ALEX Brown helped Exeter Chiefs pull off a shock 27-6 win at high-flying Harlequins in his first ever Premiership start on Saturday.
The 23-year-old prop lined up in front of almost 15,000 fans as his side knocked Quins off the top of the table.
And the former FitzWimarc School pupil was thrilled to be given the opportunity to impress.
“I had made a few appearances off the bench, but to get my first start was brilliant and it was a real baptism of fire with it coming against Harlequins,” said Brown.
“The nerves were really kicking in before the game, but all of the other players were fantastic around me and were a huge help.
“It was a brilliant experience and a huge learning curve for me too.
“But now I hope to be able to get more games and keep picking up new things, because if that stops happening then you do begin to go backwards.”
Brown added it would be difficult to earn more starts in the front row due to the strength of Exeter’s squad.
However, he is already loving life with the Devon side, who he joined at the start of the current season.
“I’m very lucky to have been given the opportunity to play for such a good club,” said Brown.
“There is a fantastic atmosphere around the place and, although it’s hard being so far away from home, I’m really enjoying it.
“My girlfriend lives here with me and she’s been my rock, but my family have been very supportive too and I will be back to see them soon.”
Brown started his rugby career with Rochford Hundred, who he was with for 10 years. He first attended Magnolia Road when he was just seven and his former youth team coach at the club, Wally McAlpine, is incredibly proud of Brown’s achievements.
“I think Alex is the first player to have come through the youth teams at Rochford and gone on to play in the Premiership, so we’re all very pleased and proud of what he’s achieved,” said McAlpine.
“His brothers still play for Rochford and his mum sent me a text to let me know he was going to play at the weekend, so he still has close links to us.”
Brown has also been with Sara-cens, Bedford Blues and Doncaster Knights during his career and represented England at both under-16 and 18 age groups.
But Saturday’s start was another big landmark in his career.
And McAlpine is sure Brown’s commitment has helped him reach the top division.
“Alex was always very dedicated and knew exactly what he wanted to do,” said McAlpine. “He had the right attitude and wanted to go for it. However, the best thing about it all is that he’s also a really nice lad.
“There’s no side to him at all and even when I see him now he will stop and say hello.
“That makes it even better he’s playing in the Premiership and hopefully Saturday’s game will b