26 April 2017
London Irish Academy trio Fin Rossiter, Sam Clough and Will Sinfield have been called up to the England Under-16 squad after impressing during the Wellington Festival.
The week-long programme, which is held annually at Wellington College in Berkshire, aims to develop academy talent as well as improving coaches both on and off the field.
Flanker Rossiter (Pangbourne College), scrum-half Clough (Edgebarrow) and fly-half Sinfield (Wellington College) were among 400 players from the 14 Premiership Rugby Academies, who took part.
The week included a presentation to parents about the England Rugby player pathway and the role that they can play in developing their son’s life outside of rugby.
There were also two match days featuring games between the 14 clubs. In addition, a national coaching day on Thursday saw a number of school teachers from up and down the country visit the college to share their expertise and hear from England Head Coach Eddie Jones, who was a keynote speaker on the day.
Delighted with the London Irish trio’s inclusion in the England Under-16 squad, Exiles’ Academy Manager Patrick O’Grady said: “Fin, Sam and Will have worked extremely hard to gain international recognition and I’m very pleased with their progress as rugby players.
“Fin has done fantastically well to recover from a long-term injury, while Sam has converted from centre to scrum-half effectively in such a short space of time.
“I speak on behalf of everyone at the club in congratulating the three of them.”
RFU Head of International Performance Dean Ryan, who was at the camp throughout the week, said: “The festival is a valuable opportunity at a key contact point for all 14 academies and pathway coaches to get together and have a consistent period of games.
“The integration we saw is really important. Referees are there sharing their knowledge, experience and thoughts during timeouts in games. Integration between coaches, players, referees and schools is also hugely important.”
England Under-16s take on Wales Under-16s on Sunday 30 April.
The 14 Premiership Rugby Academies represented were Bath Rugby, Bristol Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester Rugby, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, London Irish, Newcastle Falcons, Northampton Saints, Sale Sharks, Saracens, Wasps, Worcester Warriors and Yorkshire Carnegie.
England Rugby TV were there to capture the action from Wellington Festival: http://www.englandrugby.com/ertv/video/wellington-festival-developing-the-next-generation/