Westcliff celebrate as U18s Academy pair get National Training Camp call ups
Toby Knight who is on a rugby scholarship at Berkhamsted School and is with Saracens Academy has been involved with the England set up for some time, having been invited, a year young, to an England U18 camp last season. Toby will join the England U18 training squad at Bisham Abbey in late October.
Mason Nichols is Captain of Henley College and is with Wasps Academy. He qualifies to play for Scotland through his grandmother. After initial discussions a year ago with Scotland’s Performance Manager the journey to Scotland became a reality this month with an invite to join the Scotland U19 Training Camp in Murrayfield.
Craig, Mason’s dad, is clearly very proud of his son, “I’m in awe of the hard work Mason puts in. Very few people see of the level of commitment and the sacrifice that he’s had to make to follow his dream.”
Craig adds, “When I was growing up we always had a healthy England vs Scotland rivalry in our house. My mum, Mason’s grandmother, was always so passionate about Scotland, she’s no longer with us unfortunately, but I’m sure she’ll be looking down on Mason and loving every minute.”
Likewise, Toby’s dad Alex is full of admiration for his son, “I know he feels that he’s been fortunate with injuries but his progress has been all about his determination, I’m super proud of him. I’m sure he’ll keep giving everything to keep his ambitions alive.”
Westcliff’s Head Coach, Jacob Ford, says, “Mason and Toby are fantastic examples what can be achieved when a club youth system is run seriously and properly, putting development and opportunities first. It’s the “Westcliff Way”, we have a fantastic coaching network throughout the club. Both players also benefit from exposure to the fantastic academy programmes at Wasps and Saracens. Westcliff are fortunate to have good connections and are able to work closely with all programmes that the boys from the club enter into.”
John Rudd, Westcliff’s Backs Coach adds, “The coaching team is in regular contact with both Toby and Mason. The whole club is delighted that two such nice fellas, they certainly aren’t lonely, are being recognised at the highest level for their commitment and talent. We hope to see them in both their National and Westcliff shirts very soon!”