Northampton Saints and England U18 player praises The Perse for paving the way in rugby career
18 Jan 2018
Alex Coles has paid tribute to the help he has received at The Perse with his fledgling rugby career.
The Upper Sixth student is in the academy ranks at Aviva Premiership side Northampton Saints and has played for England at U16 and U18 level.
However, Alex believes The Perse can take a lot of credit for his reaching such a high standard in the sport already.
He said: “My background in rugby is that I didn’t play much before I came to The Perse. When I joined in Year 7, I just did it as a regular games option as most people here did.
“Initially, I wasn’t progressing super well. I was mainly a footballer and a cricketer and then I really started to push on around Year 10.
“My first big break was when I made the England U16 squad, having been picked up playing here.
“The provision of what the Perse offers with the quality of rugby is second to none. They offer rugby to everyone and it’s not just as if you get the help if you’re in an elite group.
“Originally, I wasn’t one of those better players and I was helped through to become one of those better players, so that’s my favourite thing about the rugby the School offers.
“The Perse can help you to that better place and you aren’t just put to the side if you’re struggling a bit.
“When I got picked up by Northampton, it made me realise I could maybe push on further with it and ultimately get better for myself and to help the Perse team. School rugby has always been one of the most important things for me.”
Alex now dreams of making it on the professional stage, having tasted being part of the national team.
He said: “When I got picked for England U16, I was so proud to be given an opportunity. It’s very clichéd, but to wear the Red Rose is an awesome feeling and something that’s really driving me and wanting it again and again and again.
“I’m really hoping to go into a professional environment with Northampton. I’m hoping to sign a contract with them and then break into the first team and in the long run, look to be picked for the senior England team.
“That’s always been a dream of mine since I started playing at The Perse, so it would be amazing to do that.”