The front-rower has led England at U18 and U20 level
Hotshot: Harlequins prop Fin Baxter
Date of birth 12 February 2002 Born London Position Prop forward Club Harlequins Country England
When did you first play rugby?
I went to Cobham from U5s, through minis and juniors there. It was lots of fun. I did play a bit of football growing up – badly! – but as quite a big kid my dad realised he should get me to the local rugby club.
Did you play any other sports?
My main one alongside rugby was judo. Now everyone talks about the contact skills that it helps with in rugby. I just did it for fun at the time and my mates did it. I stopped before I got to senior school.
What positions have you played?
I started off at eight and played there until senior school at 13. At Wellington rugby is big, so it’s really competitive with lots of boys wanting to be in the back row. I moved to the front row and never looked back.
What was the biggest change?
I tried not to change anything because that is how I enjoy playing. I’d say my carrying is a strength and my cleanout. My ball-in-hand skills are something I pride myself on. The scrum is my main work-on as a young prop. I’d also like my defensive awareness to improve.
Your childhood hero?
Seeing Alex Corbisiero play for the Lions in 2013 was a pretty big thing, knowing he came from the same area and club, Cobham.
What was it like to captain England U18 and U20?
With the U18s I was a little surprised as it was my first experience on the pathway. I feel it’s something I’m quite good at – managing the team, managing refs and just keeping everyone on task. I don’t feel like it’s a pressure, I think it’s something I do innately anyway.
You’re dual registered with London Scottish this season…
Yes, I’m looking forward to getting some men’s rugby under my belt and seeing where I stand with my skill-set, what needs to develop.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
My dad, Ian. He’s been my coach since I was five and taken me all the way up through. He loves the game and we speak about it all the time.
What do you do away from rugby?
I’m starting a degree with the Open University in October in economics. I also play a lot of golf and I like to read, explore different things. I recently read Homo Deus, which is about what the future looks like for humans.
RW Verdict: He’s been involved at Quins since he was 13 and gets to work with ex-Wales and Lions prop Adam Jones – not a bad tighthead to learn from! His main goal this season is to play plenty of rugby to help develop his scrummaging.
This article originally appeared in Rugby World magazine’s November 2022 edition.
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