Home England Where are Englands last “wonder-kids”

Where are Englands last “wonder-kids”

by Saba Gulmagarashvili

The men in white have a long history of producing world-class talent that has graced international rugby.
However, as this story demonstrates, they don’t always meet the grade and light up Twickenham.

5. OLLY BARKLEY

Between 2001 and 2008, the wonder-kid won 23 caps for England, and his early reputation was such that he played for England before making his club debut with Bath. Barkley, a smooth left-footer who can play fly-half or inside-centre, should have been a staple in England’s midfield after Will Greenwood’s retirement.

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4. JACK CLIFFORD

The Australian-born back-row forward rose to prominence quickly after captaining the 2013 England U20s to Six Nations and Junior World Cup titles, as well as representing England 7s in Japan and Hong Kong during the HSBC World Sevens Series.

In the 2016 RBS Six Nations Championship, he would make his England debut. The successful 2016 tour to Australia, as well as the record-setting international win streak, followed.

Jack Clifford: Harlequins forward retires from rugby aged 27 | Rugby Union News | Sky Sports

3. JAMES CHISHOLM

The Harlequins’ Number 8 hails from Haywards Heath and captained England’s U18s to victory in the FIRA European tournament.

Chisholm played for England’s Under the 20s in the 2014 Six Nations and then won the Junior World Championship. James was named World Rugby Young Player of the Year after helping the U20s win the Six Nations title in 2015. Only two English players have ever won the accolade (the other is George Ford).

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2. OLLIE SMITH

Toward the end of his England reign, Sir Clive Woodward predicted that the centre would become a global celebrity. Despite Andy Robinson’s original dismissal of Smith, he was called up for the 2005 Six Nations and was chosen in an expanded British and Irish Lions team in 2005.

Smith, on the other hand, struggled to establish himself as a regular member of England squads, and he left Leicester Tigers in 2008 due to a lack of form.

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1. GEORGE PERKINS

After scoring on his debut, the Saracens winger set a personal best in the 100m race with a time of 10.86 seconds, he also appeared in every U20 Six Nations match.

Perkins joined Bristol Bears at the start of the 2017/18 season after battling for game time at Allianz Park, where he met new Director of Rugby Pat Lam, who regarded him as a “great talent.”

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