The selection news recognises Theo’s commitment, determination and endeavour, having travelled to Wales on many occasions in the last twelve months. Theo was also part of the Harlequins U18 22-45 win over Exeter at Sandy Park on 13 February which led to his inclusion in the squad for the Premiership Academy League Finals Day (which took place on Sunday 17 Feb at Allianz Park). Harlequins qualified for the 5th/6th place play-off match after finishing third in their regular season group (https://www.premiershiprugby.com/league-tables/18-academy-competition-table/). They beat Sale Sharks 31-15 to finish fifth.
Theo started playing rugby at his local club, Heathfield and Waldron RFC, at the age of five. The club gave him the positive start he needed, ensuring that he enjoyed his formative years while building his skillset towards his first trials with Harlequins at the age of 12. At that point, Harlequins felt that he wasn’t quite ready and it was down to Director of Rugby at Eastbourne College, Oliver Torri (Level 3 RFU coach, with Level 4 in progress), to help him hone his talents, which led to a second chance with Harlequins in the years that followed. This time round Theo converted the opportunity and was placed in the Harlequin Academy’s Elite Player Development Group (EPDG).
During his time in the EPDG, his Welsh background satisfied the entry criteria for the Welsh Exiles team, the development arm of the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) that aims to identify players outside of Wales who may have the potential to play regional, national age-grade and elite senior rugby for Wales. It was during a development tournament playing for the Exiles that Theo was picked for the Wales U18 training squad.
‘It is a massive honour to be able to play at a high level’, Theo enthused, ‘hopefully one day I will represent Wales as it is where my Grandmother was brought up.’
The College are very fortunate to have been part of Theo’s success story and we wish him the best of luck going forward.