Sam Harrison grasping his chance at Leicester Tigers
If the Six Nations has done anything positive for clubs like Leicester Tigers, it has given up-and-coming stars a chance to shine.
One such player who has benefited from the absence of their international crusaders is Sam Harrison.
The 22-year-old scrum-half has played in every game since Tigers' clash with London Wasps in January, and has flourished with the club's first-choice No.9, Ben Youngs, on England duty.
Harrison is grabbing every opportunity with both hands.
SUNDAY OPEN BUFFET EAT AS MUCH AS U CAN £6.99PP & A LA CARTE...View details
Come & Try our Delicious Menu with an Amazing 15% off all Food Bills on a la carte menu only
Terms: Lebanese & Mediterenian Menu With An Amazing 15% Off Your Food Bills on a la carte menu only
Contact: 0116 2169184
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"Any time you play, you are grateful for getting the nod and being able to get on the pitch," he said.
"Thankfully, I've been able to play most of the games recently, which I've really enjoyed.
"Obviously, a couple of the
results haven't been enjoyable (Tigers' defeats to Saracens and Harlequins) but it is more experience for me and it can only be good for me.
"There are not many better environments in world rugby than Welford Road.
"It's massive for me every week that I play, and I am learning more especially with the coaching staff, Cockers, Matty O'Connor and Paul Burke."
Harrison said it is not just the coaching staff that help his game.
"I only have to look around the dressing room to see the quality of players and people to talk to," he said.
"I think any player needs someone they look to as a sort of role model.
"But I wouldn't say there is just one person in the team though, there are lots of people, like Geordan Murphy, who may not play in my position but he is still very good at giving advice.
"It is massive to have people in the squad like that who are obviously hugely experienced.
"Youngsy will give me tips, and I will give him tips. He is obviously very experienced at the top level, he has got a very good head on him to pass down knowledge and that is very good for me."
Tigers are currently on a break, with their next game not until March 23, by which time the internationals will be back among their ranks.
So, is Harrison looking to keep hold of the No.9 shirt even with Youngs back in the first-team frame?
"I want to play, as anyone does," he said. "Each game I play, I've just got to give it my all and there is nothing other than that I can do.
"That is what I have been doing for a couple of years now – I've been enjoying it when I've been playing and, when I'm not, I've been concentrating on trying to get into a position where I am playing.
"Youngsy is a great player, he is one of the best nines in the world, so I would be honoured to be compared with him."