OLLIE THORLEY, of the Stow RFC U16s team, has been named in the England U17s squad.
If selection were not achievement enough, Ollie is playing up a year as he is currently an U16 player.
It is another feather in the cap for the Stow RFC youth coaching system as Thorley (pictured above) becomes the third player from the club to earn an international call-up in as many years, following Elliott Stooke in 2010 and 2011 and Will Goodricke-Clarke in 2012.
Ollie, who lives in Oddington and goes to Cheltenham College, has been playing at Stow since the age of seven and even in those early days his exceptional power and pace in the outside centres was evident. He regularly scored more than 30 tries every season.
He was selected for the Gloucester School of Rugby at the age of 14 and since then he has continued to play for Gloucester Rugby (U16s and U18s) and the county.
Thorley is also an exceptional athlete and rower.
Wayne Loxton, his coach at Stow RFC, said: “Ollie has never forgotten his Stow team-mates and when the pressures of elite rugby allow, he still plays a key part in the Stow U16s set-up, scoring twice in last year’s County U15s Plate success.
“He was also a key player in the first ever Stow Mini and Junior team to win the County Cup in 2005.
“Ollie attended a full England training camp over half term and I know he is hopeful that his first cap will come in the New Year when England U17s take on Georgia and France.”
Sam Underhill, who goes to Sir Thomas Rich’s School, is another Gloucester Rugby product, to have made the England U17s squad.
In the England set-up, Thorley and Underhill will come under the gaze of coaches John Fletcher, Pete Walton and Ian Peel.
Head Coach Fletcher is looking forward to getting his squad together.
He said: “It’s important for us to spend some time with the players and monitor their progress from the summer. This is a strong group and we are looking forward to the season ahead.”
As Newcastle Falcons Director of Rugby, Fletcher was used to dealing with the stars of the game and coached the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Mathew Tait and Toby Flood during his time at Kingston Park.