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Meet Ollie Allan, the former Hungerford RFC junior starring on the world stage





Former Hungerford RFC player Ollie Allan made his debut for England U20s on Saturday, in a 40-21 win over Argentina in South Africa.

Part of the squad for the World Rugby U20 Championship, the scrum-half currently plays for Leicester Tigers, joining Newbury’s Ollie Hassell-Collins at the club.

Allan’s young career is reaching new heights, but it’s a journey which began at Hungerford, who he first joined aged four.

Ollie Allan on England duty in Coventry - Photo: RFU Collection via JMP UK
Ollie Allan on England duty in Coventry - Photo: RFU Collection via JMP UK

“Rugby and football were my two sports”, Ollie says, reflecting just days ahead of England’s opener in Cape Town.

“My mum was the key driver, taking me to rugby at the very start.

“Dad was more into football, but when I noticed that he was getting more of a love for the sport and he was getting involved with Hungerford, I felt that feeling, ‘yeah I want to do this’.

“I saw more of a pathway through Rugby and it gave me more of a connection with my Dad as well!”

A young Ollie Allan in action for Hungerford RFC
A young Ollie Allan in action for Hungerford RFC

Steve Allan’s love of the sport led him to the role of First Team Head Coach at the club. Ollie’s brother Tom still plays for the club as a back.

“At a younger age it’s all about enjoyment. I loved it, going every Sunday to training”, says Ollie.

“It was brilliant going through, we had a great group!”

A young Ollie Allan in action for Hungerford RFC
A young Ollie Allan in action for Hungerford RFC

Standout performances at youth level led to county representation, as well as grabbing the eye of London Irish’s scouts.

“It was a good challenge”, he says.

“Going to a bigger environment, it was very good personal development.

“It’s a big step up, but it made the other jumps a bit easier.”

Ollie Allan on England duty in Coventry - Photo: RFU Collection via JMP UK
Ollie Allan on England duty in Coventry - Photo: RFU Collection via JMP UK

Six years at Irish saw Allan develop further, into one of the club’s top prospects. In 2023 however, the dream would be threatened, as the club was forced out of business with over a million pounds owed to HMRC.

“Yeah, it was difficult!

“The coaches there had me in their long term plans. You feel settled in.

“When there’s news that it’ll be taken away from you… you don’t want to believe it!

“You trust that it’ll work out. Trust the people in charge.

“More and more you start realising, it’s not looking too good!

“It was stressful. I was one of the last academy players left. It was quite lonely!

“That’s when reality hit.”

Ollie Allan on England duty in Coventry - Photo: RFU Collection via JMP UK
Ollie Allan on England duty in Coventry - Photo: RFU Collection via JMP UK

A switch to Leicester Tigers was made possible by Academy Manager Patrick O’Grady, a move which allowed Ollie to study sports science at Loughborough University alongside his Rugby.

“When I was at Irish we’d watch their clips”, he says.

“You thought, these are good! Leicester know what they’re doing!

“The biggest one for me was getting the chance to work under the likes of Ben Youngs.

“I was buzzing, although a bit nervous at the start!”

Ollie Allan on England duty in Coventry - Photo: RFU Collection via JMP UK
Ollie Allan on England duty in Coventry - Photo: RFU Collection via JMP UK

A debut against Bedford in the cup was a dream come true, and a long time coming.

“Being able to put on the kit for the first time, with my parents in the stands, it was awesome.

“I felt happy, like the work my family had put in had paid off.”

Now twenty years old, Ollie is a key part of the England U20 side looking to take the crown in Cape Town.

“It’s been brilliant! It’s a tight group.

“We talk a lot about brotherhood. Some of us have been together since U17s.

“It’s a privilege to be out here. I’ll do what I can to help the team and hopefully take home the trophy!”

A young Ollie Allan in action for Hungerford RFC
A young Ollie Allan in action for Hungerford RFC

The next two years of Allan’s career will be pivotal, with the youngster more than up for the challenge under the new boss Michael Cheika, former Head Coach of Australia.

“I want to keep pushing through the ranks!”, he says.

“I take it as it comes. Whatever happens, even if I have to go on loan, I’ll do it with one hundred per-cent energy.

“It should all come together in the end!”



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