Coles competes for his country
Year 11 student Alex Coles played for England Rugby U16s’ in their match against Wales U16s, away in Caerphilly earlier this month.
Alex made the final cut of 23 players after a week-long academies camp at Wellington College, Berkshire – with more than 400 players in attendance – where he represented Northampton Saints. Writing to inform Alex of his selection for his country England U16s Head Coach Steve Shortland said: “Your selection is the result of your hard work, commitment to learning and improvement throughout the season.”
The England team were unlucky in being pipped 23-22 by the Welsh, having dominated play for large portions of the game.
Alex explained: “It was an incredible experience and I was unbelievably proud to get to pull on the red rose jersey. It’s been my dream goal since I got involved with the Northampton Saints EPDG programme, so I was over the moon when I found out I had been selected. It was a great test to play at that level and although we lost, I learnt a lot and am looking forward to carrying my form through into the 1st XV next season.”
It is a tradition for the England 16s players to have their shirts presented to them prior to the game by a person who has been influential in their formative years, and so it was that Alex’s jersey was presented to him by Perse teacher Mr Peter Anderson, who was Alex’s coach in his U12 and U13 seasons. Alex said: “Mr Anderson was a brilliant coach who taught me a lot about the game. We always trained hard and had a will to win as a team, but most importantly enjoyed our rugby and made some great friendships through the game”.