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How did you first get into rugby?

I played football from when I was very little and I had a trial with Arsenal at U10s but didn’t get in. So I decided to give rugby a go and went to my local club, Westcliff, in Essex.

Did you start at hooker?

I was a prop, then moved into the centres, but Saracens moved me to hooker when I was 15.

Who was your mentor?

My coach at King John School, Mark Sexton, helped me a lot.

How did you link up with Saracens?

They scouted me when I was playing for Essex. They suggested the best way forward for me was to convert to hooker but I wasn’t keen because my best mate, Harry Branch, was hooker in my teams.

Which England teams have you played for?

The U16s, U18s, then I joined the U20s for the World Cup last year.

How is life at Saracens?

I play in the A league for Old Albanians, but I can learn so much in training from people like John Smit and Schalk Brits. Richard Hill goes through all my games with me, which is great.

RW Verdict: This 19-year-old hooker is learning from the best at club level and playing well for England U20. He should go far.

This was published in the April 2013 issue of Rugby World. Click here to see what’s in the current edition.

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