Thu, 06 Jun 2019
Ollie in England training, credit: JMP UK
NEWBURY’S Ollie Hassell-Collins described it as an “unbelievable experience” when playing for England in the World Rugby Seven Series.
The 20-year-old was selected for the squad in the recent series in Paris, France, which saw England win one of their five games over the weekend.
Hassell-Collins came off the bench in the opening defeat to Fiji, a game where England fell to a heavy 52-14 defeat.
And on the whole series, the former St Bartholomew’s school student said: “It was an unbelievable experience that was completely new to me.
“It was strange at the start seeing all the other teams in the same hotel and I’ve never done anything like it before, so it was really cool.”
After the defeat to Fiji, Hassell-Collins believes himself and his teammates learned from their mistakes.
“We learnt that we needed to stick to the game plan abit more and we also learnt a lot about each other and how everyone plays the game.”
But he was thrilled to represent his country once more.
“It was amazing, especially that stadium, the atmosphere was incredible even if everyone was booing us.”
The winger found himself on the scoresheet twice over the weekend with a try against Japan and Canada.
“My Japan try was pretty special, it was my first try but it was also my first World Series win which made it.
“I was really happy to be able to score 2 tries in my first tournament.
“The experience has helped me massively, being around something that unique was so new to me,” he said. “Also scoring twice have given me a bit of confidence to think ‘yeah I can play at this level’.”