Grove Life – Being Back at The GroveRead More
Congratulations to our Y13 boys, Alfie Longstaff, Archie Hurford, Tom Rowe and Callum Hyland Dugbo who have trained at England U18 rugby camps this year.
The next camp is this weekend and we caught up with Alfie to find out more.
When did you find out about the training camp at St George’s Park?
A friend of mine knew before I did because I hadn’t checked my emails, so he broke the news to me. I was initially quite shocked when I found out because I didn’t know there was a camp, and I wasn’t expecting to go!
Have you been on any other England U18 training camps prior to this one?
I have been to 6 prior to this, some that lead up to my tour to South Africa in summer and 1 for Under 20s which was for positional development.
What were you expecting and was it similar to your expectations?
I expected a high standard of coaching and to be surrounded by players with similar ability. The camp exceeded my expectations as all the players there want to be the best they can be, which helps me to better myself.
Did you do specific training according to your positions?
We do split training sessions as backs and forwards where we focus on set pieces. This is valuable time as we get a lot of coaching points on how to improve technique.
Did any current or past players talk to you?
Mako Vunipola came to a forward’s camp where he gave us tips on scrummaging. He was very knowledgeable, and it was great to get some tips directly from him.
Do you think your rugby career at Woodhouse Grove helped you to achieve this accolade?
The experiences and coaching here at Woodhouse Grove have certainly played a significant role in developing my playing abilities and mindset. Also, being at the Grove has allowed me to balance my academia and rugby to make sure I carry on progressing in both.
What are the next steps?
The next steps for me are to hopefully sign a professional contract, where I will continue to work on my game while studying at university. I also would like to keep working through the England age grade rugby teams with the main aim of playing for England’s 1st team.
Tell us a little bit more about your South Africa Tour with England U18 squad in Summer.
When we went to South Africa we stayed in Stellenbosch. We would train twice a day and also had a few gym sessions while we were out there. We played Western Province, France and South Africa. The experience on the whole was hard to take in, but I felt a real sense of pride when I ran out onto the pitch.