This front-rower stood out in his teens and is on track for the top

Exeter Chiefs prop Marcus Street

Date of birth 6 February 1999 Born Exeter Position Prop Club Exeter Chiefs Country England

When did you first start playing?

Around U12s at Cullompton. I mainly did it to lose weight. I wasn’t the biggest fan for the first year, but I really enjoyed the last game of the season and carried on with it after that. I also started playing for my school, Queen Elizabeth’s in Crediton.

Have you always been a front-row?

I’ve played a bit at No 8 and sometimes the school threw me into the centres – but I’ve generally always been a front-row. I love it there – scrums are the best thing.

What are your strengths?

I enjoy all the contact parts – scrummaging, set-piece, breakdowns. Tackling didn’t used to be my strongest point but I’ve done a lot of work on that, got better and think I’ve turned it into a strength of mine.

You’ve progressed quickly – are you a fast learner?

I think so. I ask a lot of questions! When I fully understand something, I’m then able to do it the best I can – that’s probably why I ask a lot of questions.

I’ve got a good amount of experience but there’s always more to learn. Scrummaging is the hardest thing to get right and it’s hard to practise. You can do passing on your own but scrummaging you need eight versus eight.

What age-grade honours do you have?

I played for England U18 and U20. I was the right age for the U18s but played U20s a year or two early, which helped me at U18s because it gave me confidence. The experience just helps.

It’s the same at Chiefs and learning from mentors at the club like Greg Holmes, Alec Hepburn and Ben Moon.

The best advice you’ve received?

At Exeter College we spoke about the ‘no talent’ battle, how you might not be the most skilled player but if you work harder than other people it’s going to show.

What are your goals?

This season has been good and the Chiefs have given me opportunities. I’ve ruptured ligaments in my toe, so I don’t know how much more I’ll play this season. My biggest goal is to push for a Premiership or European start.

How do you switch off from rugby?

I enjoy coaching, although that’s still rugby! I’ve started working with Exeter Uni and have been doing bits with Crediton U14-15. I’d love to go into coaching.

RW VERDICT: Street’s talent was obvious from an early age, making Exeter’s set-up in his early teens and playing for England U20 at 18. He’s already amassed over 30 appearances for the Chiefs and – post-injury – his rise is set to continue.

This article originally appeared in the April 2020 edition of Rugby World magazine.

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