Date of birth: 27 February 1996. Country: England.


When did you start playing rugby?
When I was about five or six, at Upminster rugby club. I didn’t play a lot of other sports when I was younger – I just really loved rugby. I stayed with Upminster until I was 15 or 16, then went to Oaklands College through Saracens and just played for them.

Have you played in different positions?
Growing up, I was a centre but when I first went to Oaklands I moved to wing and stayed there.

You were also a good athlete…
I was quick and I won the England Schools 100m when I was 14 and was second in it when I was 16. My mum ran for Wales – Diane Thorne.

When did you think you could make a career from rugby?
Halfway through the first year at college, when I was learning what you needed to do to be a professional player.

When did you join Saracens?
I was about 14 when I joined their junior academy, then I played U18s and joined the senior academy last year.

Who have been your mentors?
Ian Vass at Saracens and Jake Sharp at Bedford Blues and Oaklands. I’ve been on a season-long loan at Bedford and it’s been fantastic. They play a really good brand of rugby.

What memories do you have of the 2015 Junior World Championship?
I really enjoyed the whole experience. Against South Africa in the semi-final we were underdogs and beat them quite convincingly. We came up short in the final (v New Zealand) but I think this year we could win on home soil.

The Six Nations didn’t go well for England…
That was disappointing but it made us stronger. Guys are coming back with Premiership experience.

RW Verdict: Perkins had 15 England U20 caps before this month’s World Championship kicked off, plus five tries. Consistent rugby with Bedford Blues has brought him on and he will be a key man for England in Manchester.

First published in the July 2016 edition of Rugby World magazine.