Ollie Hassell-Collins will make his senior international debut for England this Saturday (4th) against Scotland in the opening round of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations.
The London Irish Academy graduate has been selected to start from the left wing by Steve Borthwick ahead of the arrival of Scotland, and becomes the first Exile to start for England in nine years.
He will take on Clubmate Ben White in the Round 1 fixture at Twickenham Stadium, the scrum-half making his first tournament start for Scotland.
Hassell-Collins is now one of three current London Irish squad members to be capped by England, both Henry Arundell and Will Joseph earning their maiden appearances on last July’s tour of Australia.
The former England age-grade and sevens representative was selected as part of the 36-man training camp squad in mid-January, following on from various senior squad call-ups since his first in the summer of 2021.
The 23-year-old has had a stellar season in Irish colours; being the Club’s top try scorer in all tournaments with nine tries in the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership so far, the joint-second most across the division.
In the Premiership this term, Hassell-Collins has registered the third-most defenders beaten (36), fourth-most line breaks (15), fifth-most metres (697) and offloads (15), and eighth-most gain line carries (58).
He has been involved with the Club since the AASE schools level and has progressed through the Senior Academy set-up into the first team, making his debut back in the 2018/19 season and has made 98 appearances since.
Steve Borthwick said: “There are few fixtures in the rugby calendar that excite both players and supporters alike more than the annual Six Nations meeting of the Auld enemy as they battle for the honour of lifting the Calcutta Cup.
“Another packed Twickenham will witness the start of the next chapter of English rugby in one of the most keenly contested tournaments in the world.
“There is no doubt that this England team shares the supporters’ sense of eager anticipation.
“To a man, the players are determined to play with the commitment, fight and desire that is at the very heart of representing England, the sort of passion that our tremendous supporters rightly expect.”
England v Scotland is live on ITV and BBC Radio 5 Live.
Thoroughly deserved, Ollie!
15 Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 17 caps)
14 Max Malins (Saracens, 14 caps)
13 Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 13 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 101 caps) (C)
11 Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish, uncapped)
10 Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 17 caps)
9 Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps)
1 Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 43 caps) (VC)
2 Jamie George (Saracens, 72 caps)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 56 caps)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 62 caps)
5 Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps)
6 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 14 caps)
7 Ben Curry (Sale Sharks,1 cap)
8 Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 9 caps)
16 Jack Walker (Harlequins, uncapped)
17 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 74 caps)
18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 95 caps)
19 Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 8 caps)
20 Ben Earl (Saracens, 13 caps)
21 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 121 caps)
22 Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby, 7 caps)
23 Anthony Watson (Leicester Tigers, 51 caps)