BURNHAM-ON-SEA Rugby Club’s Nick McKen has reflected on a “brilliant experience” after starring for the England Deaf side in Bulgaria at the weekend.

The hooker, who turns 33 on Thursday, scored the decisive try in England’s 38-25 win against the hosts in Sofia on his return to the team after several years out of the set-up.

McKen told the Weekly News: “This was my ninth cap - I played several years ago between the ages of 19 and 23 but then my daughter was born, I got married and there were a lot of commitments to juggle.

“I also wanted to focus on Burnham and we had some incredible years with lots of promotions.

“Tim Piper at Burnham encouraged me to get back involved with the side and I’m glad to be a part of it again.

“I’m trying to make the most of all my opportunities – every game could be my last, so I’m just trying to enjoy it all as much as I can.”

Reflecting on his weekend on international duty, he said: “We flew out to Bulgaria on the Friday evening and everything was very professional.

“The match itself was very hot, played in 30-degree heat, and they dominated the first half.

“We knew we had to attack them through the middle in the second half and that’s what we did. At 25-24 down we got held up in the 22, the ball was bouncing and I picked it up, ran past two players and scored (click here to watch - McKen's try is at 2.15).

“It was my first try for England, so it was an amazing feeling.

“There was a brilliant atmosphere in the ground and to win there was a great result - it was the full Bulgaria national side, not a Bulgaria Deaf team.

“We have shown we can compete, so now we will hope to take on teams in the tier below the Six Nations, such as Germany, Spain and Russia.”

McKen will be back in action for Burnham this weekend as the club travel to Somerset Premier leaders Avon, and he is optimistic the club can build on their solid start and have a good season after relegation last time out.

“Obviously we had a difficult season last year,” he said.

“The travelling was a problem and it was almost like we had two teams – one for home games and one for away.

“But this year we are looking really good, training really hard and getting some wins under our belt.”

A true club man, McKen also runs the club’s Under-7s section and is keen to try and encourage more youngsters into the sport.

“Rugby is for everyone - people shouldn’t let any form of disability hold them back,” he said.

“If I can play for England, anyone can.”

The youth section of the club are always looking for new players - for more, turn up to training at 10am on Sunday mornings or visit burnhamonsearfc.org