Find out more about the Northampton Saints flanker

England U20 flanker Henry Pollock has had quite a start to this year’s junior Six Nations. Not only did he score a hat-trick in the opening victory over Italy but has been named Player of the Match in England’s opening two victories.

There’s plenty of hype, and you can see why. Here’s a little bit more about Northampton’s rising star.

Read more: England Six Nations squad

Rising Star: Henry Pollock

Name Henry Pollock Age 18 (14 Jan 2005) Born Banbury Position Flanker Club Northampton Saints Country England

When did you first play rugby?

I’ve been playing pretty much my whole life. My parents took me to my local club Banbury at about five or six and then I moved to Buckingham a few years later.

What attracted you to the sport? 

The team culture was quite a big aspect. The social side was good and I enjoyed the physicality, so I got stuck in from an early age.

Did you play other sports? 

I was quite good at triathlon as I was a good runner back in the day.

Read more: England top try-scorer

Positions played? 

I used to play nine because I was a bit small. I played there for a couple of years before the coach said I was too gobby and moved me to seven.

When did rep rugby start? 

I joined the Saints academy at 13 and my first England U18s north/south camp was in Bristol in April 2021. I made my debut on tour in South Africa last summer.

Representing the country for the first time? 

When I found out I was going to captain the side I was lost for words a little bit. It was pretty special singing the national anthem with some family there.

Any childhood heroes? 

As a young kid I looked up to Michael Hooper and Richie McCaw.  And then recently Conor McGregor or Tiger Woods, the way that they changed their sports.

Your strengths? 

Physicality and I’m quite good over the ball. I’ve got quite a big engine on me, so work-rate around the park, too.

Any work-ons? 

Low body tackles, chopping men to the floor and making the lineout my super strength.

Countries qualified for? 

I also qualify for Scotland as my mum and dad were both born and bred there.

Biggest influence on your career so far?

Will Parkin, who is with England U18s but was Saints academy coach. Without him I wouldn’t be in this position now. He pointed me in the right direction and gave me the belief that I can do it. He’d always do one-on-ones and was really helpful. I think all the boys would say the same thing.

How have you found the pro environment?

I’ve loved it; the lads here are really nice and they get around you. I used to look up to Courney Lawes as a young boy coming to Saints, so it’s cool having him around.

Are you studying? 

I’m doing a Sports Management degree at Loughborough University part-time.

RW verdict on Henry Pollock:

The most talked about youngster to come through the Saints ranks in recent times. Can pick Courtney Lawes’s lineout brain and Tom Pearson’s arrival should provide the perfect role model. With game time, he will become a serious player.

This article first appeared in the December 2023 edition of Rugby World magazine

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