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Trent College First XV rugby captain Will Allman has taken another step towards a career in the professional game after being confirmed as one of four players invited to join Northampton Saints Senior Academy for 2015-16.
Will, from Diseworth near Castle Donington, has been part of the Junior Academy at 2013-14 English Premiership-winning Saints since the age of 16, and now gets the chance to prove himself to the club’s senior hierarchy on a full time basis.
Flanker Will comes from a strong rugby family, his grandfather John having captained Sale in the 1960s. He has played in all six of England Under-18s’ games played so far in 2015, scoring against Portugal.
In March last year, the influential Number 7 was a member of the Trent College side that won the 2013-14 Natwest Schools Vase in thrilling fashion at Twickenham. This season he has led from the front in captaining our School.
Will has been at Trent since Year 7 and completes his A-level studies this summer, before he then turns his focus to rugby full time at Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens.
He said: “To receive a contract from Northampton Saints is a dream come true. It has been the culmination of two years hard work with the Premiership Club and I am really pleased to be able to carry on my rugby playing in a professional sense, it is what I have always wanted.
“It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was a Year 7 pupil on the bottom field. It feels weird that I’ll never be able to wear that Trent College jersey again. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time here and am glad to have had, and used, every opportunity to play.”
Adam Benstead, Trent College Director of Sport, said: “I have watched Will develop from when he was in the Under 7s Tag Rugby team at Melbourne Rugby Club. His achievement is testament to his hard work and passion for the game, and although he is still really just beginning on his road to the professional game, he has demonstrated all the attributes that will help him achieve his long term goals and we wish him every success.”
Will started playing rugby when he was six, progressing through Melbourne R.C’s Junior sections before furthering his rugby at Trent College. He trialed as part of the Leicester Tigers Development Programme, before deciding to join the Northampton Saints Academy in Year 12. Will also represented England U16 South team in Year 11, before progressing to full International Honours with England U18 this year.
Outside of rugby Will has continued to enjoy a range of sports and has also represented the school in hockey and cricket when able to.
Northampton Saints Director of Rugby, Jim Mallinder, said: “The hard work of the club’s Academy coaches - as well as the conditioning team and physios - along with support from the players’ parents is ensuring that we have a steady stream of very good young players coming through the system and into the full-time ranks.
“As much as we would like to offer a contract to everyone we’re not in a position to do so, and those players who do get offered one have earned their opportunity. The four players that we have signed will complement the existing players in the Senior Academy and we’re looking forward to seeing them develop.”