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From Barney to England: many congratulations, Jake!

14 Oct 2021
Jake (third from the right) made his England U18 debut during a recent international against Italy

As Barney continues to enjoy the welcome return of competitive sporting fixtures, we caught up with one of our aspiring rugby players, Jake, who made his England U18 debut against Italy last month.

Despite a 27-17 defeat, nothing could deter the winger’s pride and pure joy of representing England and wearing the red rose jersey.

“There was such a buzz in the changing rooms before the game, the atmosphere was surreal,” he said.

“I loved it, you could tell there were nerves in the changing rooms, but I’d say the excitement outweighed it. When the squad was first announced I was so happy to be selected to start, I felt very honoured. I loved the experience the feeling was just insane.”

His international debut is a culmination of a very successful and promising career to date, having first played rugby in Year 3 while at Prep School to one of the key members of the First XV. Jake also played for Barnard Castle Rugby Club and has represented the county in different age groups, which led to a trial with Premiership side, Newcastle Falcons.

“I knew the chances were slim to be selected for the Falcons Academy, so I knew I had to work hard to get there,” Jake explains.

“I am hoping to be offered a contract and play with the Falcons alongside university.”

Jake, of Durham House, is one of several Barney students involved in the Newcastle Falcons Academy, including First XV captain, Harry, who was recently selected by England U18s for an upcoming development camp.

Jake added: “It is really good playing with a cool headed teammate like Harry, who’s there to make the right decisions. We have a very good team and coaching setup who lead by actions, which makes it easier playing for School.

“We enjoyed a successful preseason and opening fixture, and were unlucky to lose against Woodhouse Grove, which proved to be one of the biggest tests of the season and a game which we probably should have won.

“Nevertheless, I think we are going to have a good season, especially with the squad we have, and we are hungrier now more than ever to win games.” ​