02 November 2023

Hard work and family help Leeds centre Harry Newman live the dream with England

02 November 2023

England international Harry Newman admits representing his country has been a “dream come true” but did not think it would happen after suffering some serious injuries.

The 23-year-old has played each of England’s last two games which have seen them take an unassailable 2-0 lead over Tonga in their autumn international series and will be looking for the whitewash when the two teams meet for a final time at Headingley on Saturday.

It was the first time Newman got called up to the squad and he received his first cap with his debut appearance at the Totally Wicked Stadium, where England took a 22-18 victory.

The Leeds centre is in disbelief of his recent achievements and credited his family for playing their part.

He told the PA news agency: “It has been a dream come true already to represent my country.

“It is the biggest thing you can do as a player. Receiving that first cap off my mum and dad was special and brought a tear to their eyes – and I was stood there trying not to start up myself.

“We’ve been back home for a couple of days and I went to see my grandad who is in a care home with dementia. I went in and showed him my shirt and my cap. It’s things like that which make it even more special.

“Without those sort of people around you, a caring family, caring girlfriend, brothers and sisters, it will be a lot more difficult but they have stood by me and they always will. I guess it’s as much for them as it’s as much for me.”

It has been a dream come true already to represent my country

Newman has been riddled with several injury problems during his short career which has seen his playing time limited. He has suffered multiple hamstring issues, resulting in surgery, as well as a horrific double leg break in 2020.

He admitted the England dream was a long way from reality and thought there were times where he did not think he would be in this situation now.

Newman added: “Especially some of the injuries I’ve had, the leg break, the hamstring operations, it has been tough mentally but I’ve stuck at it.

“There are days when it’s like that and if you didn’t think that you would be lying. You try and stay positive and that’s something I’ve have always prided myself on…sticking at it, working really hard and the rewards will come.

“I’ve still got a lot of improvement in me. I know that myself because I think I’ve been at higher levels on the pitch before but getting the experience from these games – I’ll be a different player next year.”

The international camp has allowed Newman to link up with the English NRL players such as John Bateman, Elliott Whitehead, and Tom Burgess whilst also facing several opposition players who play in the Australian league.

Newman insists he has learned a lot during the camp, underlining Bateman as the one he has leaned on most.

He said: He’s (Bateman) been great with me, (I’ve) talked with him a lot off field. He said he can see some similarities in me from when he was younger and he’s played in grand finals, won grand finals, worn the England shirt many times and is now playing in the NRL.

“It’s been a challenge, but I think that’s when I’m at my best. I thrive off a challenge, when I get too comfortable it’s when you probably don’t see the best of me and I knew it was going to be a challenge.

“I’ve been opposite Mosese Suli for the last two games and he’s a big boy but I’ve really enjoyed that test and think I’ve stood up well and shown what I can do in glimpses as well.”

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