Tigers Academy and Wales U20s fly-half Sam Costelow admits it’s nice to be getting a taste of senior rugby, but says he is in no rush to reach the top and wants to enjoy each step up the ladder.
The 18-year-old came off the bench in last weekend’s Premiership Shield away game against Northampton, which was his debut in the development competition, and 'enjoyed' the experience despite the result.
“It was very fast, that was what I noticed straight away,” he said.
“It’s a shame we lost … but I really enjoyed it – it’s a good experience for me.”
Earlier in the week Costelow was called in to Oval Park by Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy to train alongside the senior squad and line up against England fly-half George Ford in training.
“It’s a learning curve for me to take what I can from the bigger boys and continue to improve"
As if that wasn’t enough, the South Wales-born Tiger then had the chance to sit on the bench in Saturday’s Shield fixture alongside Tonga internationals Sione Kalamafoni, Telusa Veainu and David Feao.
A softly spoken, humble young man, Costelow just looked to learn all he could from both eye opening experiences.
“It’s a learning curve for me to take what I can from the bigger boys and continue to improve,” said Costelow.
“You’re just watching how they play, how they prepare and learning all you can from them.
“A bit like the Shield game, the training was very fast, especially in their conditioning games but I just want to continue learning and I’m getting those chances.”
Costelow has played starring roles in both of the club’s recent back to back U18 League title-winning seasons and a debut in the Premiership Shield caps off a year that has also involved representing his country at both U18s and U20s level.
However, he’s in no rush to the top and is not allowing it to play on his mind.
“I’m not sure I thought it would all come as quick as it has, but it’s not something I think about – it comes when it comes I guess, I’m just enjoying the experiences I am getting.”