Thu, 31 Jan 2019
OLLIE Hassell-Collins has been relishing the challenge as he prepares to make his Six Nations under-20s Championships debut for England.
Earlier this month, the 19-year-old received his call-up to represent the national team at the under-20s championships, which kick off this weekend.
England begin their campaign with a trip to Cork to face Ireland on Friday night and London Irish winger Hassell-Collins has welcomed the difficult early test.
“I think it’s a real good first test” he said. “We’ve had a really good training week were in a great place going into this game.”
After the visit to Ireland, England host France at Exeter Chiefs’ Sandy Park ground on February 9.
The former St Bartholomew’s School pupil, who last represented England at under-18 level, believes the hard work can pay off throughout the tournament.
“Yeah, we’re confident in ourselves and we back each other in everything we do,” he said. “We’ve had good training camps so far – now it’s time to put it into the games.”
Pic: JMP UK
Hassell-Collins is one of just 32 players that have made the elite squad for the championships and he is relishing the chance to represent his country once more.
He said: “I’m excited for the challenge in the Six Nations – it will be a real test for us and everyone’s excited to get going against Ireland.
“Preparations have been good and there’s been a lot of information that we’ve had to take in, but I feel everyone has taken it in well and training has been good.”
It will be a busy six weeks for the 19-year-old as England also head to Colwyn Bay to face Wales, while they host Italy at Bedford’s Goldington Road ground and Scotland at Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton.
France narrowly won last year’s championships ahead of England and Hassell-Collins believes his teammates are determined to put it right.
“Everyone wants to make sure that preparations are great before each game to put the squad in the best place possible,” he said.