Front-row switch is embraced by Yorkshire Carnegie’s Charlie Beech

Charlie Beech
Charlie Beech
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IT IS NOT always the easiest of tasks but Yorkshire Carnegie’s Charlie Beech is embracing his new role in the club’s front-row.

The former Wasps loosehead prop has spent much of this season on the opposite side of the scrum.

Yorkshire Carnegie coach James Lowes. PIC: Tony Johnson

Yorkshire Carnegie coach James Lowes. PIC: Tony Johnson

Beech has adapted to the change well, as shown by his solid work when putting in a 65-minute stint at tighthead during Sunday’s comfortable 47-11 victory over Rotherham Titans.

With ex-Scotland tighthead Michael Cusack still yet to feature this season due to a neck injury and Elliot Millar-Mills recently moving on to Edinburgh, the 30-year-old has been utilised a lot by James Lowes in the No3 berth.

On his form this term, Beech said: “It’s going really well. I’m enjoying playing the rugby.

“Obviously, I’m switching sides for the first time in 13 years which is a learning curve but I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

“It’s been something that’s been hinted at for many years and I finally gave in this time.

“It’s one of those things; the squad’s obviously been reduced this season and it made sense to be able to help out both sides of the scrum. I took to it and seem to be stuck there now.”

Beech, who first arrived on loan from Bath in October 2013, has missed just one of Carnegie’s 13 games so far this term.

The ex-England Under-20s international helped them chalk up back-to-back Championship wins on Sunday as, with a driving maul that garnered five tries, they over-powered bottom-placed Rotherham.

“It was a local derby and Rotherham always turn up with the intent to put something on us,” he said.

“So, although they’re not doing that well in the league we were expecting a tough game and that’s what they brought.

“The driving maul worked well, though. With emotional games, the set-piece is always a way of dampening that so we knew if we had a good game up front we’d quieten that down and then eventually the backs would pick them off.”

It was the forwards, though, who prospered most with hooker Joe Buckle claiming a hat-trick after prop Marc Thomas had already scored twice in the previous week’s win at Jersey.

The front-row’s union are certainly enjoying themselves – Carnegie hooker Mike Mayhew scored a treble versus Bedford Blues in October before joining Harlequins on loan – and Beech admitted: “We try our best. That’s the joy of it; they (backs) tell us the driving line-out tries don’t count but we tell them they can get lost. The running game now, though, means all 15 are expected to catch the ball and do something with it.

“It’s not like the old days where three of you are left standing there. The last couple of games Marc Thomas has managed to get over and now Joe Buckle as well. I’ll have to start getting some myself.”

In previous seasons, Beech may have been due a rest this Saturday when Carnegie resume their British & Irish Cup campaign against the Dragons Premiership Select side at Huddersfield YMCA.

However, with that smaller squad, he is likely to take to the field again, and said: “They’ve had a word with a few of us who will be playing and there will be some rotation, too, to give some young lads chances as well.

“I’d expect there to be a change in the squad but, on the whole, we want to keep the momentum as we’ve won the last two now and want to keep that going to go back into Championship on a high.”

After heading to Dragons a week later, Carnegie host Nottingham in the league on December 23 which, if he plays both B&I Cup ties, will be Beech’s 100th game for the club.

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