Pride Of Princethorpe; Five U13 Rugby Players Selected For Wasps’ DPP
It would be churlish to rubbish the collective dream of five young Princethorpians; especially as they are one boot nearer to rugby glory. For Year 8 boys; Sam Warne, George Evans, Oscar Blunsom-Washbrook, Mason Winterburn and Connor Cooke their aspiration to one day emulate their rugby heroes: Nathan Hughes or George Ford is becoming that little bit more real, albeit earlier than they were expecting.
Selection into Wasps new U13 Developing Players Programme (DPP) is no mean feat. Enduring a tough first-round trial at Old Coventrians saw Evans and Washbrook’s star quality shine through. Within twenty-four hours they’d received an invitation into the academy. The fly-half and Number 8 have continually impressed as they’ve risen through the junior age groups. Indeed, all five are part of the unbeaten College U12A squad, the sort of side who could hurt anyone who came their way. With 144 tries last season to their credit it’s not hard to see why Wasps have selected so many Princethorpe players. For Sam, Mason and Connor a second trial, this time in more difficult, wet conditions, gave them another chance to make up the selectors’ minds. And thankfully they did just that.
Wasps’ radar picks out young players who show potential on the pitch, not just through their skills but taking into account their game sense and capacity for hard work. It’s as if these five are instinctively programmed to nod their heads when asked if they’re up for the challenge. Oscar explains, “It’s what I’ve always wanted to do, it’s just this selection came a bit earlier than I was expecting.” The boys agree but look fresh faced at the prospect of rugby dominating their evenings seven days a week. With Wasps DPP training taking place each Monday, Evans adds, “What we do with Wasps will help blend our play at Princethorpe.” And he’s right. Already surging ahead with an unbeaten U13A score sheet these five emit a new sense of pressing priority.
Princethorpe’s Master in Charge of Rugby Mr Pete Bucknall shares the Year 8 boys’ delight,
“This is a tremendous accolade for the boys and for the College. The skills they develop over the season will bring all sorts of advantages.”
Image shows Princethorpe College U13 Rugby Players (from left) Connor Cooke, Sam Warne, Mason Winterburn, George Evans, Oscar Blunsom-Washbrook