Wilson on ladder to success

Lewis Wilson after making his North of England debut on Sunday.
Lewis Wilson after making his North of England debut on Sunday.

Pocklington rugby club and Woldgate College back row, Lewis Wilson, came through the England Under-16 Divisional festival with flying colours last weekend.

He will now be aiming to make the final step up the representative ladder as the national training and selection process continues through to the final England U16 team being picked in April.

Lewis Wilson in action for Pocklington

Lewis Wilson in action for Pocklington

Lewis is one of 100 young players identified as potential junior internationals by the RFU player development department. They were then split into four divisional squads and Lewis duly ran out for the North at open side flanker at Coventry, where they had a hard-fought 22-22 draw with the London & South East division.

Lewis, from Stamford Bridge, has been in top form for Pocklington all season and captained Yorkshire U16s against the other Northern counties in October and November. He is also a member of the Leeds Carnegie U16 Academy and, in the summer, plays cricket for Stamford Bridge CC.

After an impressive performance for the North on Sunday he remains with the North U16s for a couple of training camps in March leading up to the Wellington International Festival in April. At Wellington, all four England divisional sides will be in action along with two representative squads from France and Wales, and one each from Scotland and Italy. The England selectors will then choose their full England U16 side to meet Italy (19 April) and Wales (27 April).

Lewis’ representative success has come as no surprise to his coaches at Pocklington RUFC, where he first came down in 2002 to play mini rugby at the age of five.

Pocklington U16s manager Chris Ingle, who has been with the team since that day in 2002, said: “Lewis has always had a talent and has been part of a successful side since under-sevens. However, in recent years he has given a great deal back to the team, and our current strong squad owes much to the efforts Lewis has put in recruiting players from within his school.

“Lewis has always been respectful and keen to listen to his coaches and has great loyalty to the club. In addition to playing on a Sunday you invariably see him down at Percy Road on a Saturday watching the senior teams along with his mates.”

That bond with Pocklington RUFC is a real family affair, and more than a dozen of his relatives have played at Percy Road going back half a century.

His grandfather, Gerry Wood, turned out for Pocklington in the 1940s and 1950s whenever his top club, services and representative demands allowed.

Uncle David Wood played halfback for Pocklington in the 1980s, in addition to representing Northumberland.

Cousin Josh Britland is a current Pocklington first teamer, and another cousin Ben Wood presently plays for premiership outfit London Wasps’ academy and was in the South West U16 divisional side a couple of years ago.