YORKSHIRE Carnegie’s Lewis Wilson admits he is targeting a big 2016 as he aims to cement his place in the England set-up.
Wilson has had some involvement with the Red Rose at Under-16 and Under-17 level but it is with the Under-18s where he is hoping to really make his mark ahead of a crucial few years for the flanker.
The 17-year-old is Carnegie’s current Academy Player of the Year and will be linking up with an England Under-18s training camp this winter.
Wilson, who lives in Newton upon Derwent, said: “I have had a small involvement with the England Under-16s and Under-17s but I want to really push on with England Under-18s because they have some big games coming up against France, Wales, Scotland and people like that.
“So I want to really impress with them and build on to what will be an important couple of years for the England Under-20s.
“We have a few games with England Under-18s but the big years are with the England Under-20s because that is when I will be pushing for first team rugby and the Under-20s also have the Six Nations and Junior World Championships.
“So this year is more about building for bigger things over the next few years.”
Yorkshire Carnegie lost their only Academy Premiership match of the season 24-0 away to Worcester Warriors before a 42-5 defeat at Gloucester on Sunday.
The Pocklington School pupil added: “We had a few small injuries at the start of the season but in December we have a few big games which I’m really looking forward to.
“I really want to put together a good string of games where I am injury-free and with an England camp at the end of this week, I’m hoping to build a platform there.”
Wilson was speaking at the Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport workshop at Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing in Portsmouth.
More than 20 of the country’s brightest athletes attended on Tuesday, when they were offered education sessions on issues such as nutrition and interview techniques, and given mentoring by former Olympic cyclist Bryan Steel and ex-England rugby union player David Flatman.
Wilson said: “I enjoyed my workshop with the Land Rover Academy of Sport, especially because at the last mentoring session I picked up a few things and took them into my sport and into my training regime and it has helped me loads.
“Having David Flatman there in particular was great because he is a big man in the sport and I was interested to pick his brains a bit about the sport, training and an insight into Premiership Rugby.
“The Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport has helped me, especially on the mentoring side.
“It has helped me a lot away from the field so far mainly but I have also learned things I can take on to the pitch as well so it has really helped me so far.”
Lewis Wilson attended the Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport workshop, mentored by Land Rover Ambassador David Flatman and Sportsaid Patron Bryan Steel. For more information visit sportsaid.org.uk.