Proud 17-year-olds Ben Grubb and Ethan Pearce-Cowley were told of their selection to the national team via an email direct from the England Rugby Football Union. The pair will join the 46-man squad of talented teenagers from across the country after making an impact on recruiters at this season’s college games.
Ben, who lives in Padstow, and Ethan from St Austell, are both first year students who play for Truro College as part of the College’s Exeter Chiefs Academy. The rugby academy at Truro College has also helped nurture the talents of current England players Jack Nowell, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Henry Slade – so the future could well be bright for these two.
Former St Austell RFC Loose-head prop Ethan, who is studying the L3 Public Services Diploma at Truro College, said of his selection: “I’m really happy; it’s pretty rare to happen in your time at College. No secret to it, you’ve just got to put the hours in.
The College and the environment here builds your knowledge further though, there really is no higher level to be at under 18s.
The coaches are great, there’s a lot to learn but they always stay on top of your progress.”
Number eight player and former Newquay Hornet Ben is in the first year of his L3 Sports diploma and has praised the College for its input into his training which helped him make England selection.
“It’s been a lot of hard work and great feedback from the coaches. The College has helped by always being on top of our training and looking at the programme to see how we can develop. I’m pretty rugby focussed now but the College has been great at helping to fit my course around our rugby training, it’s well-balanced work.”
Both students are hoping that their focus on training and improvement will qualify them for a place in the team’s next away match against Scotland on March 13, 2020.
Steve Larkins, Head of the College’s Rugby Academy, praised the pair for their hard work and dedication.
“It’s a testament to the hard work they have both put in within the rugby programme and how dedicated they have both been in terms of strength and conditioning and in their performances on the pitch,” he said. “They are following in the footsteps of many international players who have been products of the Truro College Rugby Academy.”