jack clifford

At what age did you first play rugby?

I joined Cranleigh when I was about 11. My dad kept me out of rugby until it was full contact – he knew I’d get bored.

Have you always been a back-row?

I was a centre to start with and I moved to second-row when I was about 13, then into the back row when we first had full scrums.

Do you prefer No 8?

I enjoy all three back-row positions but I like No 8 the best because you get to carry quite a bit.

You played in the JP Morgan Sevens for Harlequins at just 17. What was that like?

There were a few guys my age in it and it was good fun. It tested your fitness and physicality. I’ve been with Quins since I was about 14.

Who are your mentors?

The main one is Quins academy manager Tony Diprose. I go through my games with him.

You made your Aviva Premiership debut this spring, was that one of your aims this season?

I wanted to play well in the A league and on loan at Esher, and get as many Quins appearances as I could. I also wanted England to do well in the U20 Six Nations – it’s the first time I’ve been the proper captain of a team.

What’s your next aim?

To do well at the U20 World Championship in France and then have a really good pre-season
so I can play well for Quins or on loan.

RW Verdict: Leading England U20 to a Six Nations title could prove a launchpad to great things for this promising 20-year-old.
This appeared in the June 2013 issue of Rugby World. Click here to see what’s in the current edition. 

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