This Wasps wing has already impressed for England Sevens

Hotshot: Wasps and England Sevens wing Callum Sirker

Date of birth 4 May 1998 Born Hammersmith, West London Club Wasps Country England Position Wing

When did you first play rugby?

The passion for it came from my father, Amit, who played for London Welsh in the ‘80s. I’m a quarter Indian, so it was rugby or cricket for me and I chose rugby. My first club was Teddington. I went through the minis, then moved to Richmond. I was in Wasps’ academy from 11 or 12 up to 18.

You had injury problems, didn’t you?

Yes, I had a shoulder injury in my last year at school, Harrow. I missed a whole season of 15s and wasn’t signed (by a pro club). I was gutted but luckily played my sevens season. We got to the final of Rosslyn Park and Simon Amor saw me. He invited me to an England Sevens trial and a week later offered me a contract.

How beneficial was your England Sevens experience?

Massive. It was a chance to play in front of mega crowds against outstanding players now making their names on the 15s stage. I played in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Paris.

What did you learn most?

Finishing – beating a player one-on-one came from sevens. And skills under fatigue.

Who did you admire when you were growing up?

Brian O’Driscoll is my absolute idol. I’ve got a photo of him in my room! What a player he was, he could do everything. He came to do an HSBC advert with England Sevens. I couldn’t breathe, I was like a little fan!

What are your strengths and work-ons?

If I get an opportunity to score I back myself to take it. Give the Rieko Ioanes of this world a sniff and they’re away – and that’s how I want to be pictured. A work-on is getting used to the physicality of 15s. Fronting up has never been a problem, it’s working hard in the gym and being robust enough to take those shots.

Are you studying?

I’m doing a leadership and management degree through the RPA. It’s really cool. What are your goals this season? To make as big an impact as I can for Wasps. Putting the Wasps shirt on is a massive honour. It was always my dream.

RW VERDICT: Dealing with injury and rejection in his teens was tough, but Sirker has shown real resilience to earn his chance. He grew up aiming to emulate the likes of Josh Lewsey and Christian Wade – Wasps could have a new gem in the ranks.

This article originally appeared in the December 2019 edition of Rugby World magazine.

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