Teenager Sam Allan has fulfilled the wish of many a sporting hopeful by being capped for his country.
The 16-year-old from Queensbury was a key member of the England under 16 set up that played in a two-match series recently.
Not only did he play, but Allan, who has spent his development years at Old Brods, was also vice-captain for both games against Italy under 17s at Lichfield RUFC on Easter Monday, and Wales at Oxford University’s Iffley Road
ground last Saturday.
England were beaten 24-20 by Italy, but gave retiring Head Coach Phil Stanlake the perfect send off with a 32-26 success over Wales.
Crossley Heath student Allan, who started at inside centre in both games, also got on the score sheet with a penalty and conversion in the first game.
Amazingly, Sam is the second member of the family to turn out for England under 16s as older brother Josh also represented his country at that age level in 2009.
“Playing for my country was just fantastic,” said Allan, who has also been training with England under 17s but has yet to play a game for them.
“I found out I had been selected about a month before the games so it was a really exciting time.
“We were based initially at Loughborough University but then moved on to Abingdon College. Being around the squad was just brilliant and we all got on really well.
“It was a great bunch of lads with plenty of banter flying around.”
Allan has been at Old Brods since the age of six. He is also on an academy contract at Leeds Carnegie.
He came to Yorkshire’s notice and the county deemed Allan competent enough to be named captain.
He continued that role with the North of England squad until being named as vice-captain for his country.
“I was naturally very proud. Everybody wants to play for their country and it is a great honour.
“The whole experience is one I will always remember and would love to be part of again.
“It was very emotional when it came to leaving - everybody had just got on so well.
“I will now just have to keep working hard to make sure I stay in the minds of the selectors.”