December 22 2014 Latest news:
Former Letchworth Rugby Club youngster James Tirrell has caught the eye of the national selectors. The 19-year-old, now part of the Saracens Academy, jetted off to Thailand to play for the Samurai (England B) sevens squad over the weekend. Each Guinness P
Former Letchworth Rugby Club youngster James Tirrell has caught the eye of the national selectors.
The 19-year-old, now part of the Saracens Academy, jetted off to Thailand to play for the Samurai (England B) sevens squad over the weekend.
Each Guinness Premiership team has to nominate one player for the England sevens squad and Sarries chose Tirrell.
After training with the squad, the national management liked what they saw.
They asked the former Hitchin Boys' School student to join up with the Samurai side so they can run the rule over him - ahead of the start of the IRB World Sevens Series - at the Champion Sevens event in Bangkok.
Samurai are one of the best-known invitational sides in world sevens rugby and those who have turned out for them include Gavin Henson, Mike Tindall and Sireli Bobo.
Tirrell said: "It went really well when I was training with the England sevens squad and they suggested I join up with Samurai.
"This is effectively a trial game for me to see if I'll be involved with England this season."
So instead of training with the rest of the Saracens Academy players and preparing himself for Monday's A team friendly against Northampton, he was in warmer climes in Bangkok!
He had played at full-back in the recent Saracens A matches against Henley and Leicester Tigers but he started his career with the Men In Black as a scrum-half.
Tirrell has been part of the Saracens set-up since the age of 14 and has progressed his way through the Academy ranks.
He was a regular in the A League side last season where he wore the scrum-half jersey but his two recent performances have come at full-back.
The diminutive Tirrell, who stands just 5ft 6ins, added: "I've played in a number of positions for Saracens, but it really doesn't bother me where I play.
"At this stage, I'm just happy to get some regular game time and be involved. I've played sevens before but obviously it's very different and your fitness levels have to be even higher.