Northampton Saints fullback George Furbank has his sights set on earning an opportunity to impress in the league after scoring in Sunday’s clash with Bristol Bears.
After a year of injury setbacks following his first-team debut against Exeter Chiefs in the Anglo-Welsh Cup last year, the 22-year-old Saints Academy graduate returned to the side in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
Chris Boyd’s young side blew the Bears away with four first-half tries at Franklin’s Gardens, before three more scores followed after the interval to bring up a 51-24 triumph.
Furbank won the under-18s Premiership final with Saints back in 2014, before being involved in both of Northampton Wanderers’ A-League successes over the last two seasons, but believes the time is right to stake his claim for a Gallagher Premiership debut later this month.
“These Cup games are really important; if you play well, there's always going to be opportunities in the Premiership.
“I thought we defended really well in the first-half, put pressure on their exits which is what we talked about and we took opportunities really well.
“Chris Boyd is keen on giving the young guys a chance, especially if you're playing well in the Wanderers which a lot of boys have been, so there were quite a few debutants.
“It helps that we've all been playing together on a Monday night a lot, those connections are there – as well as having the 'squadfathers' like Luther Burrell and Tom Wood leading from the front.”
Furbank started the match at fullback, but when fly-half James Grayson went off in the second half he took over the No.10 role as well as kicking duty.
However, the Huntingdon-born starlet insists he sees his future at 15 for the men in Black, Green and Gold – and he wants to put some pressure on Ahsee Tuala in the coming weeks.
He added: “I haven't been working on my kicking that much, so that touchline conversion was maybe a little lucky, but I can slot into that ten position as well.
“I feel bad for Harry Mallinder, he’s obviously picked up a nasty injury and no-one wants to see that. But it hopefully puts me into that second-choice spot, and then I can push Ahsee Tuala.
“He goes away with internationals in a few weeks as well so I want to make that first-team spot my own.
“It's important for us all to push on after this win. Chris has spoken about making sure we all take our opportunities, and if we do take them we’re going to get wins on the board and then we can progress in this competition.”
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