Alfie Barbeary: Wasps teenager says scoring hat-trick was 'unreal'

By Chris JonesBBC rugby union correspondent
Alfie Barbeary
Alfie Barbeary also scored a try on his Wasps first-team debut in the Premiership Rugby Cup

Wasps' teenage forward Alfie Barbeary says his biggest challenge is to consistently perform at the highest level after he sensationally announced himself to English rugby with a hat-trick on his first Premiership start.

Normally a hooker but playing as a flanker, he scored three second-half tries as Wasps crushed Leicester 54-7.

He says it was a "dream come true" to make the impact for his boyhood club.

"It was unreal. I couldn't really believe it," the 19-year-old said.

"I've grown up watching Wasps so to make my Premiership debut in the Ricoh and for it to go so well, I'm just chuffed," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Now I'm just trying to get used to it and consistently perform at this level - that's my biggest struggle."

Barbeary was playing in the back row rather the front row at the Ricoh Arena as he looks to gain Premiership experience.

Wasps head coach Lee Blackett says the positional switch is to take pressure off his set-piece, an area which still needs improvement.

"There are still lots of parts of my game at hooker I need to work on, so it's about getting me playing and exposing me to this level," Barbeary said.

"I've played flanker at academy level so it's [about getting] me on the pitch and going from there."

Blackett played down hype around the teenager, but says he has the ability to make a considerable impact down the line.

"He's a big project. He's nowhere near the finished article and he's got to keep working hard," Wasps' coach said.

"But he's a talent, there is no doubt about that, and hopefully we will see him reach his potential."

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