Easton & Otley rugby academy player named in England U18 touch training squad

Charlie Delaney at Easton & Otley College in his England rugby training kit. Photo:Hayley Collison

Charlie Delaney at Easton & Otley College in his England rugby training kit. Photo:Hayley Collison - Credit: Hayley Collison

Wymondham back Charlie Delaney is on the cusp of being chosen to play for the England under-18 touch rugby team at an upcoming European tournament.

The local student lives as a resident at the Easton campus of Easton and Otley College where he is in his second year of study as part of the rugby academy.

He only started playing touch – usually played in the summer months, without tackling and with mixed genders and ages encouraged – last year in Norwich where he was spotted by a scout and asked to travel to a trial in Leyton in London.

Out of 200 players who took part in the trial, Delaney has been included in a 34-man training squad. A further trial will now take place this month where Delaney hopes to become part of a final squad of 16 who will travel to Scotland in August 2018 to represent their country.

In addition to the potential honour of playing for his country – the youngster plays as either a scrum-half or fly-half for the college, the Eastern Counties U18 side and the Wymondham first XV.

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Delaney said, 'I'm delighted to have got so far and it would be an absolute dream to represent my country. I've been getting lots of advice from my tutors.

'To hear the national anthem whilst playing for your country is the dream of pretty much anyone who loves sport – so if this situation was to happen to me, it would be an amazingly proud day for my family and I.'

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If selected to play for the final squad, he will be going up against teams including France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Scotland, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

The head coach of the rugby academy at Easton and Otley, former North Walsham head coach Nick Greenhall, continued: 'Charlie is a very intuitive player with tremendous creativity. Since arriving at our rugby academy, Charlie has developed in a number of ways.

'Physically, Charlie is much more robust and able to tackle and defend with aggression and efficiency. He is technically one of our most agile and elusive players.

'In addition to this, he has excellent handling skills that can make it very difficult for defences to contain.

'I believe Charlie has a bright future in the world of rugby ahead of him.'

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