Westgarth battles through to final England trials

Bucks Free Press: Giles Westgarth Giles Westgarth

GILES Westgarth is on course to play for his country next spring after making it through a series of cuts to earn a place at England U18 trials next February.

The Amersham & Chiltern star represented Bucks at eight country trials before earning his place in an initial 35-man South West of England squad.

That was cut to 25 after further trials, but Westgarth made it through and has now also been invited to full England trials in February.

Amersham academy director Matt Allen said: “We’re really happy for him and he’s done very well. He’s got a good head on him and I know he won’t be fazed by the occasion.”

Allen and the club must take some credit for Westgarth’s success though.

He was one of the first players to enroll in their new academy last season and it was Allen’s decision to move him from the front row to the back at the start of this season.

He said: “He’s a very fit boy who runs hard and makes his tackles. We looked at his frame and build and decided to move him to the back row.

“He’s made the transition very quickly and it’s a real achievement to make it as far as he has after changing his position.

“Exposure to our senior set-up has helped, he plays for the seconds and trains with the firsts and that’s aided his development, but he is the one who has put the work it. We’ve just provided the support.

“But it’s really good we are producing boys who can play at that level, it shows what we’re doing at the club with our youth development.”

Meanwhile, the first team lost a bit of a battle royale with National League 3 South West third-placed team Redingensians on Saturday.

They went down 7-5 with only a conversion separating the two teams after they reached the interval deadlocked at 0-0.

Reds scored first after the interval, but Amersham crossed themselves with another well-taken try from Sam Portland.

However, Matt Gilbert couldn’t convert and that coupled with two earlier penalty misses from director of rugby Craig Burgess proved costly.

They go to Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday.

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