Former Ipswich schoolboy selected for England Sevens squad

Ethan Waddleton. Photo: Gary Day/Pinnacle

Ethan Waddleton. Photo: Gary Day/Pinnacle - Credit: Gary Day/Pinnacle

Ipswich schoolboy Ethan Waddleton has been selected for the senior England squad for the third leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, being held in New Zealand this weekend.

The 19-year-old former St Joseph’s College pupil has spent time with Northampton Saints and Saracens’ academies but his career has really taken off since joining the England Sevens academy programme.

One of Waddleton’s former mentors at the college, Mark Patterson, who has watched former pupils Alex Day and Lewis Ludlam represent England Under-20s in the past, said the youngster’s call-up was thoroughly deserved.

“Ethan is St Jo’s first-ever senior England representative in any sport and the speed in which he has progressed is phenomenal,” said the college’s director of student recruitment and events.

“His work-rate is immense.

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“He is tough, hard-working and his skill levels really are through the roof. His passing ability off the ground and around the breakdown is fantastic and I always remember watching his defensive qualities in one-on-one situations and his ability over the top of the ball is as good as anything.”

England were runners-up in last season’s tournament in Wellington, losing to the hosts, and finished fourth overall in the World Series, that included nine different rounds across the world.

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England have been drawn in pool C this weekend and will play France in the opening game before taking on USA and then Samoa.

Meanwhile, Northampton Saints’ Elite Player Development manager for Suffolk, Simon Sinclair, added: “Ethan is probably a year ahead of schedule (in his development) and when he comes back I am sure he will be picked up by a Premiership club.”

Waddleton’s favoured position are centre or flanker, but he has been featuring at number nine with England as well.

Supporters can watch the full tournament live on Sky Sports starting on Friday night.

England are currently fifth in the standings after two rounds and coach, Simon Amor, is delighted with Waddleton’s inclusion.

He said: “Ethan has shown real potential since joining the programme. He has done well in training and has earned his place on the World Series through his performances for the academy side.”

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