Nottingham Rugby loanee Jake Barron says Scunthorpe RUFC are helping his development
IN-FORM forward Jake Barron is hoping to bring a bit of Championship experience to help Scunthorpe RUFC's battle against relegation.
The powerful number eight is on loan to the Greens for the second successive season from the Academy of Nottingham Rugby, where he hopes to eventually turn professional.
And having had the chance of representing the Green and Whites for the first time in the British and Irish Cup earlier this season, he is hoping to help Scunthorpe as much as they have him, by giving him the chance to play regular first-team rugby.
"They were brilliant experiences," said Barron, of his appearances against Welsh side Llandovery and Doncaster Knights in October, both of which came from the bench.
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"I didn't feel out of my depth at all, so to know I can play at that level was a big boost.
"Ahead of both games I was in training for the full week, whereas I only train with the Academy on Tuesday nights.
"That definitely helped me improve and there were things I picked up which I've brought back to help Scunthorpe with.
"It's a big plus, not just for me but for the club I'm with."
Barron, 21, says Nottingham Rugby is a good place to be around at the moment.
Not a surprise given the Green and Whites are second in the Championship, leading the challenge to rival Newcastle Falcons for promotion to the Guiness Premiership.
When it comes to improving his game, Barron says he has benefited hugely from the senior members of the Nottingham squad.
But he insists there has been no bigger reason behind his development than the amount of pitch time he has been afforded at Heslam Park.
"I've spent a lot of time with Dan Montague and Brent Wilson and Nottingham doing different things on how to play," said the forward, who lives in Spilsby, near Skegness.
"They're willing to give up a lot of time for the younger lads for us to learn off them.
"Brent has played international sevens for New Zealand. He's a quality player – a few years ago he was playing for Newcastle in the Premiership – and as he's a flanker, for me there is no-one better to learn off.
"But at the end of the day you can train as much as you want, but you can't beat playing a game for actually learning it, which is what I'm doing at Scunthorpe.
"I feel I'm definitely improving. I'm carrying a lot more ball and I'm leading the lineout this year which has been going well on the whole. I'm very happy."
Barron hopes to be involved with a newly-formed Nottingham A team at the end of the month as he bids to further his reputation with the Championship club, where he is in his second year at the Academy.
For now though his focus remains on dragging the Greens out of the National Three Midlands relegation zone.
Scunthorpe were without a match last weekend, a scheduled break on the league calendar, but resume their quest for points at Newport this coming Saturday.
Rediscovering the 'spark' they had earlier in the campaign is what the flanker says must be done if his side are to climb out of trouble.
"The big thing for us is getting a good win and then hopefully the confidence will come with it," said Barron.
"Against the better teams we seem to play better. Their good performances raise our game.
"We need to be playing well against the sides in and around us.
"I wouldn't say it's been a frustrating season, because we've had some really good performances.
"It just seems like the spark we had earlier has gone and it's up to us as a group of players to get it back.
"It's not easy at all. We've been trying over the past couple of games and things have improved, but the game against Sandbach was a big loss for us.
"Getting a bonus point at South Leicester the previous week was massive, but we just can't seem to follow these performances up."