Thu, 28 Mar 2019
Credit: JMP UK
NEWBURY rugby player Ollie Hassell-Collins admitted that his experience with the England under-20s has made him determined to progress into the senior team.
The 20-year-old was selected to represent his country at the under-20s Six Nations Championship and featured in three of the five games.
Hassell-Collins played in games against Wales, Italy and Scotland to help England to a third-place finish in the final standings.
And the London Irish winger said: “I felt the campaign went well for me – I played in three games which I was really pleased with.
“It was good to get other coaches’ points of view on the game and also play with people my own age, so it was a nice change while I was there.
“It was amazing to be part of it. It was my first taste of the Six Nations and the under-20 squad – the whole campaign was amazing.”
Now he is hoping to book his place in the England squad for the under-20 World Cup in Argentina in June.
The former St Bartholomew’s School pupil has now had his first taste of Six Nations rugby and is eager to progress into the senior set-up.
He said: “It’s been my dream to play for the senior team and being a part of this campaign has really driven me to push on and make it come true.”
Many of Hassell-Collins’ friends and family were in attendance during the tournament and he was grateful for their support.
He said: “My family are always proud of me playing for Irish and England.
“They came to all the games I was involved in and my friends managed to make it to the Scotland game, which was a really nice surprise,” he said.
Hassell-Collins is determined to finish the season strongly to nail down a regular position in the England under-20 squad.
“My main goal now is to play well for Irish, get promoted back to the Premiership and hopefully from that I’ll make the under-20 squad for the World Cup.”