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Something all young players learn quickly is that injury is a big part of the game. It can rule you out of playing at the most inconvenient of times. But one man’s cloud is another man’s silver lining, and when the England U18 squad suffered some injuries to their pack, Newcastle Academy second-row Joe Robinson was promptly called up to fill the gap.

Studying for A Levels in his last year at Sedbergh School, Robinson has come through the Newcastle Academy and has played for England U18 Clubs and Schools, featuring in the team’s draw with Ireland in Dublin in which they came back from a 17-point deficit.

He now hopes to go to university to study electrical engineering, but before then he had the matter of helping England U18 get through the FIRA tournament in France, and joined the squad ahead of their 38-34 victory over Wales in Auch, in which he came off the bench.

A good lineout forward who can also play in the back row if required, it is Robinson’s determination and hard-working attitude that has impressed his coaches the most.

John Fletcher, the England Academy coach and former Falcons director of rugby, has known Robinson since he was 12.

“Joe’s personality is similar to his playing style, he just gets on with it,” he says. “He’s a hard worker and solid in the set-piece. He has all the attributes of a great forward and earned the right to be called up.”

Rugby World Verdict

With such a diligent attitude Robinson deserves to go far.

Bea Asprey

This article appeared in the June 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine.

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