Tue, 29 Oct 2019
OLLIE Hassell-Collins continued his phenomenal rise in rugby, playing and scoring a try for London Irish in their Gallagher Premiership victory at Wasps.
The 20-year-old made his first start of the season in Irish’s 29-26 win at the Ricoh Arena, in round one of the Premiership.
Hassell-Collins raced onto a pass from Blair Cowan to score from inside his own half, a moment he won’t forget anytime soon.
The former St Bartholomew’s School, Newbury, pupil said: “It was amazing – as soon as I saw the space I just put my head down.
“I don’t think we could have asked for a better start, especially against such a strong side.
“We dug real deep, especially in the second half with our defence battling hard on our own try line.”
“It’s a crucial victory, it sets the tone for the rest of the season and gives a statement to the rest of the league.”
The Irish winger, who made his senior debut for the club last season, is now hoping to kick on and play more first-team games this year.
He said: “I think these games are crucial for me to play well to show that I can play at this level and to put a marker down on that starting spot.
“It helps so much having those people there, it was good to have Curtis [Rona] inside me, and he helps me a lot with attack and defence.
“But they’re all always giving me advice – it’s really helpful having them on the pitch with me.
“I hope to get more Premiership caps,” he admitted. “I just really want to keep improving and put my marker on the starting spot.”
Hassell-Collins also featured for Irish over the weekend in their 7-41 defeat to Sale Sharks at the Madejski Stadium.