A teenage rugby prodigy from Nuneaton has been selected to represent England Counties Under-18s in a test series against Ireland Clubs.
Sam Everett, 17, from Attleborough, will be representing England Counties Under-18s side in a two-match test series against Ireland C at the home of Bedford Blues on Tuesday 14 April and Saturday 18 April.
The Coventry College student impressed coaches in a series of matches for Warwickshire Under-18s, earning himself the chance to represent a Midlands team in a series of trial matches against other regions in the country, where he landed rave reviews from England Counties coaches for his performances at outside-centre and full-back.
Sam puts his success down to his involvement in Coventry College’s Rugby Academy – where he combines 12 hours of weekly study to become a personal trainer with up to 16 hours of rugby training, strength and conditioning, analysis and weekly matches for the College.
“I couldn’t believe it when I received the call to say I had been selected by England, I thought it was a joke,” said the former Higham Lane School pupil.
“A few days after I had a call from my Midlands coach telling me the news, one of the England Counties coaches called me to say how well I had done in both of my games.
“My time at Coventry College has really stood me in good stead. In my first year I was put straight into the College’s first team at full-back to deputise for a player who has broken his collarbone twice, so I suddenly found myself as a 16-year-old playing with and against 19-year-olds.
“I now have more than 25 games under my belt having represented the Coventry College in the AoC Sport Premier League, Rosslyn Park 7s and the Portugal International Youth Festival playing at a high level against players who are older than me, so it has helped me to mature as a player.
“The education programme has really stretched and challenged me, working on all aspects of my game both academically and my sporting performance.
“My ultimate goal is to become a professional rugby player, so this is a step in the right direction for me, safe in the knowledge that if it doesn’t work out, then I have a plan B to fall back on as a personal trainer thanks to the BTEC Level 3 that I am studying as part of the Coventry College Rugby Academy.”
Peter Glackin heads up Coventry College’s Rugby Education Programme that enables students to combine full time academic study with their rugby development, and has overseen Sam’s development over the past two years.
He added: “Sam has worked hard over this period of time at the college while playing for his rugby club Nuneaton RFC and it’s been an absolute pleasure to see him develop into a confident and vocal leader on the rugby pitch.
“He is a model professional both on and off the rugby field, and is a great example for the other students to look up to, and I’m not surprised at all to see him being given the chance to represent his country.
“We’re all very proud of him, and look forward to seeing him progress as player with the England Counties squad for the two exciting tests against Ireland Clubs.”
For more information about the Coventry College Rugby Academy, please click here.
You can also browse the Sport programmes on offer at the College here.