Fearn up for the fight as he faces his old Newcastle Falcons team-mates
PLAYING to win rather than for mere survival will come as a refreshing change for new prop Darren Fearn next season, writes Mark Wood.
The 23-year-old enjoyed his time at Newcastle Falcons, but is eagerly anticipating a different campaign at Goldington Road next.
Newcastle finished in the relegation place last term, and he said: “When I’ve played the last few years there’s never been anything to challenge for.
“I really enjoyed my time at Newcastle but it was a case of trying to survive than trying to win.”
Newcastle’s Premiership future has been decided with the club relegated as London Welsh won their appeal to take their place in the top league of English rugby.
Fearn revealed he’d made his mind up before all that began and admitted it would be strange facing his former team-mates in the Championship.
He said: “At the time Newcastle weren’t down or up. I just needed to play rugby.
“I would love to play against some of them.
“It would be strange but not in a way it would affect me much.
“It would probably help me because I would know who to run at!
“I’m still quite friendly with a few of the lads, but I really enjoy stuff like that.
“It’s cliches but when you are on the pitch you are just there to do the business.”
Fearn admitted it has been a big decision to move south, but Bedford had made it easy and he will be living with fellow new boy James Stephenson.
And he’s now champing at the bit to taste the ‘physical’ challenge of Championship rugby for the first time.
He continued: “With my being at Newcastle last year I’ve never really played Bedford much.
“But I have heard a lot about Mike Rayer and he is one of the best at developing players and plays a really good style of rugby.
“It was the brand of rugby (that attracted me), I always knew they were good at developing players.
“It was a case of I need more game time, but I wouldn’t go just anywhere to get it.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say as a forward it’s (the Championship) a really big test because it’s so physical. I’m really, really looking forward to it. I love the the fact it could get physical. I really love that aspect.
“There’s nothing like being dominant over your opposite number. But I also do like ball in hand.
“I’ve watched a lot of Championship rugby. It does look really good and I’m looking forward to it.”
Fearn is also familiar with Bedford’s recent tilts at the title and believes they can finally achieve their goals next season.
He added: “They were unlucky not to go through this year. I remember watching them last year against Worcester. They are a very ambitious club and that swayed me.
“I would love to win the Championship this year with Bedford.
“I think if they had beaten London Welsh in that last game there was no reason they couldn’t have won it.
“It could have happened this year and I feel we can push on and play really well.”
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Weather for Bedford
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North east