Ipswich pupil set to make England debut

IPSWICH schoolboy Alex Day will today make his England Under-18 debut to cap an incredible 2010 for the rugby prodigy.

The scrum half will line up for his country in this afternoon’s match in Ireland in a qualifying match for the FIRA Under-18 Championnat d’Europe tournament in France – the age equivalent of the Six Nations championship.

And it completes a whirlwind 12 months for the 17-year-old who has already tasted glory with his school, St Joseph’s College, and is poised to sign his first professional contract with Premiership leaders Northampton Saints.

Day met up with his new team mates yesterday for a training session at Twickenham – the first time he had played rugby on the hallowed surface.

The team then flew to Ireland last night in preparation for this afternoon’s qualifier at Old Belverdere RFC in Dublin.

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Day said: “I don’t think nerves will set in until a bit closer to the game but I am getting really excited.”

With the match coming just five days after Christmas, the dedicated teenager admitted he had to be careful not to over-excess during the festive season – even training on Christmas Day.

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Day has this year helped St Joseph’s College win the National Schools’ Rugby Festival for the first time in 15 years – and picked up the player of the tournament trophy in the process.

But today, he will only be focusing on performing for his country for the first time in front of scores of friends and family who have travelled with the side to Ireland.

After naming his side, England Under-18 coach John Fletcher said: “Alex deserves his chance at No. 9. He’s come along really well, has been in good form with his school and has made excellent progress with Northampton. As far as I’m concerned, he has a bright future in rugby.”

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