World champion Alex Day pays tribute to Colchester and St Jo’s
- Credit: Archant
He may be a world champion, but rugby union hero Alex Day will not be turning his back on his local roots.
The 20-year-old was part of the England Under-20 team that defeated Wales 23-15 to lift the IRB Junior World Championship, in France, on Sunday.
The former St Joseph’s College schoolboy, who played for Colchester as a colt, captained and scored a try for his country in the record 109-0 win over USA in the group stages, during a tournament that was televised worldwide.
Day is now looking forward to heading back to Premiership side Northampton Saints in three weeks time as he bids to break into the first team at Franklin’s Gardens, but insists he will not forget where it all started.
“I am massively grateful to the people that helped me along in my career as a youngster, especially at Colchester Rugby Club and St Jo’s,” said the Harwich-born scrum-half.
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“There was Graham Richards and Mark Patterson (director of sport) at St Jo’s, while I was coached by Aled Llewellyn, John Roome and Dave Harvey at Colchester.
“If it was not for them, I would probably not be where I am today.”
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Day played a crucial role in England’s successful campaign and as well as featuring heavily in the final against an unbeaten Welsh team, starred as the nation defeated hot-favourites New Zealand in the semi-final, 33-21.
“I have not really had time to think about what we achieved yet, it’s been a hectic few days,” said Day.
“At one point it looked as if we were not going to be successful in the final, especially after the first half in which we trailed 15-3.
“We had our backs against the wall but we have always seemed to play quite well under pressure and we did the same against Wales.
“We always had massive belief as a group and were quite confident we could go all the way, especially because of the hard work that was put in by the backroom staff.”