A WREXHAM student is gearing up to compete in a British Lions tour after putting in a series of winning performances for his home nation.
Prop forward Owain Brown, who is studying computer science at Glyndwr University, has been picked in a 20-man squad for the Great Britain and Ireland Academic Lions student rugby league team.
The 24-year-old former St Helens trainee, from Acrefair, will play matches against Serbia and France on a European tour at the end of this month.
He heads into Europe with the backing of Glyndwr University, which has paid £500 towards his travel and accommodation costs of playing for Wales over the last few months.
Owain received the Lions call-up following a string of victories playing for the Wales student rugby league side.
In a home nations championship at Bradford University, he was part of the Dragons team which secured a 31-16 win over England, a 36-16 success over Ireland and a 26-22 victory against fellow students from Scotland, in a game where he picked up the man-of-the-match award.
Owain then captained the Celtic Nations to a 31-16 win over England in a trial match, a performance which ultimately secured his place in the British and Irish Lions squad.
He said: “I was chuffed when I got the phone call – absolutely made up. It’s not something you expect when there are four national sides and over 100 players for the coaches to pick from. It’s such a great feeling and I can’t wait to go on the tour.”
Owain first played rugby league with Wrexham Raiders when he was seven before moving to play for Widnes Tigers when he was 11 years old. After a four-year spell in the academy at Super League giants St Helens, Owain moved abroad for a brief career with Moss Vale Dragons in Wollongong, an Australian rugby league club based near Sydney.
He returned to the UK in 2005 and signed for his current club, amateur side Halton Simms Cross ARLFC, based in Widnes.
“Longer term, my aim is to be in contention when the next Academic Lions squad is selected, for a three-match tour to Australia in 2011,” added Owain. “But first there’s the small matter of this month’s tour.”