It should have been a career highlight. Instead Kieran Brookes had to watch the Premiership final on TV, due to a Covid outbreak at Wasps — despite testing negative.
No wonder the England prop found it so tough to take, after playing such a key role in the glorious revival which propelled his club into the decider against Exeter at Twickenham.
‘I was absolutely gutted,’ he said. ‘I was distraught. It would have been my first final.
Wasps' Kieran Brookes has opened up about missing the Premiership final due to Covid-19Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The prop missed out on a first career final after testing positive for the virus in the final run-in
‘I tested negative but my housemate tested positive and through contact tracing I had to go into isolation. She’s a physio at the club, so she was devastated to miss the final as well.’
Wasps went on to lose the final 19-13, having been on the verge of snatching the title from Exeter in the closing stages.
Forced to follow events from afar, in quarantine at his girlfriend’s house, Brookes did not enjoy being a helpless spectator.
‘It’s probably worse watching, because at least when you’re playing, you can do something about it,’ he said. ‘Watching on TV, especially in the last 15 minutes, it was head-in-hands stuff.
‘Unfortunately, it wasn’t our day. It was agonising to watch but one of the texts I sent to the coaches just said, “I’m gutted for you all but let’s go and win it next year”.’
Exeter Chiefs went on to beat Wasps 19-13 in the Premiership Rugby final in October
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Brookes (above) claimed it was difficult to watch the final on TV after helping his side get there
Brookes is perhaps more at ease being on screen rather than in front of it, as a full-time sportsman and part-time thespian.
‘I went to drama school when I was younger,’ he said. ‘There was a student at my school whose dad worked for a company in Blackpool which managed actors and extras.
‘They asked him if his son knew anyone at school who was larger than a normal 16, 17-year-old, so he sent a picture of me and they were like, “Yep, get him in!”
‘I was in Coronation Street for one or two episodes, as an extra. My character was pushed over a wall by an old woman. I was in her way; that was it! I was also in one episode of Shameless and in a dancing programme called Britannia High — just in the background.
Brookes (left) was a promising actor before rugby and was an extra on Coronation Street
‘When I was playing at Northampton, Ethan Waller used to organise a Christmas nativity play every year and I played Mary. Ben Foden was Joseph. That was quite funny!
‘I had to wear a little crop top and I ended up being pregnant with Jesus. There were 100 people in there watching, so I’m sure