Two rugby players with Herefordshire connections have been picked for an England men’s Under-18s Development Camp this weekend.
Theo Mayell and Joe Jenkins, both 17 and students at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools, have been chosen for the England camp, which takes place at Stafford Rugby Club on Saturday (27th February).
It is a wonderful opportunity for the two students at Monmouth School for Boys.
Theo, a back row, who lives near Ross-on-Wye, is a member of the Worcester Warriors’ Academy.
Joe, a centre, who cut his rugby teeth at Hereford Rugby Club and attended Madley Primary School, is a member of the Bristol Bears Under-18s.
Both Year 12 students are studying A levels in Monmouth Schools Sixth Form and, under normal circumstances, would have played rugby extensively for the school 1st XV during the winter.
Theo began his rugby at Monmouth Rugby Club’s Under-7s and immersed himself in the sport when he joined Monmouth School Boys’ Prep.
“Considering the lack of rugby we’ve been able to play due to the coronavirus pandemic, I was surprised about the invite because there have been no academy league games so it was a bit of a shock,” said Theo.
“But I am massively looking forward to it. If I feel I’ve put everything into it, I’ll be pleased. Hopefully, I can pick up some extra tips to add to my game as well.”
Joe played at Hereford Rugby Club from under-9 to under-16 level and has represented both Newport and Bristol Schools
“With a strong under-16 season for school and Bristol, and then carrying this through to the under-18s training, I hoped I would be in contention,” said Joe.
“This is a great opportunity to improve and test myself at the next level.
“I’m unsure yet of my future pathway after school but carrying on playing rugby is definitely part of it.”
Theo and Joe both says that the success with Wales of both John Bevan, who coaches the 1st XV at school, and Hallam Amos, a former Head Boy, has proved to be inspirational.
Theo said: “The success of Mr Bevan and Hallam has definitely driven me to try to get to their level.
“I have multiple fond memories of playing rugby for school – including a famous home win against Millfield School at under-16 level in 2019 and going to Rosslyn Park Sevens.
“Our school coaches are extremely passionate and supportive and genuinely want the best for every player and team throughout the school.”
Joe said: “It helps to show that previous people at school have progressed through ranks and gone on to professional rugby. Rugby at our school is a great opportunity for students to improve their game with the high levels of coaching.”
Theo is a big admirer of Worcester Warriors’ young Premiership club captain, Ted Hill.
“I definitely want to carry on with rugby at university, whether that’s competitively or just for the social aspects,” Theo added.
“I would quite like to study at Bath University.”
Joe is a fan of the current Wales and British and Irish Lions centre, Jonathan Davies.
He added: “The senior academy at Bristol Bears runs a pathway through to the first team, I would obviously love to be a part of this.
“However, I would like to keep as many options open as possible. I am fully aware that this involves success in my A levels.”