Amazing News for Mansfield U16s player Oliver Smith
Earlier in March, Oliver Smith, who plays as a centre in Mansfield’s U16s team, took part in a match that was part of the Leicester Tigers selection process for their Talent Development Group.
The match was designed to help coaches to choose a squad to represent them at the Wellington School Festival, in which Tigers will play in a tournament containing all 14 Premiership Academy sides.
The week-long programme, which runs at Easter, also offers the opportunity for the England player pathway coaching team to take a further look at academy players.
And we have just found out that Oliver has been selected for the Wellington festival.
“It’s amazing,” said Oliver, who attends Brunts Academy. “It’s a big thing for me, because rugby means everything to me. I would like to get to the highest level and this is another step towards it.
“I want to be the best player I can, and I want people to see that they can do things as well.”
Dad Mark Smith comments: “We’re really proud of him and it’s great to see that a state-school kid can get to places like this when such a high percentage are from public schools that play rugby so many more times a week. We’re also grateful for the support of the U16s coaches at Mansfield too – when Oliver plays, he knows he represents his club and school.
“So a personal thanks to Dave Elms at Mansfield, and to Lee Charity at Brunts Academy too.”
Mansfield chairman Andy Foster said: “This is fantastic news for Oliver and a big step in his development. We are very proud of what Ollie and all of our youngsters achieve. It is especially heartening for our outstanding team of coaches to see one our own moving on and up as result of the total commitment that comes from both the player and his coaches. We wish Oliver every success as he proudly flies the Mansfield Rugby Club flag.”
Oliver’s progress is down to a lot of hard work and focus. Well done so far, and have a great event at Wellington School.
Here’s a match report from the game Oliver played in:
Location – Gloucester University.
In Ideal rugby playing conditions, Oliver Smith played for the Leicester Tigers U16 Talent Development Group in an away fixture against fellow Premiership side Gloucester.
Both teams were intent in playing a fast and free flowing game and there were no less than 12 tries scored in a game that ended up with honours being shared.
Of Tigers’ six scores, Ollie played a central role in his side’s three first-half tries. He fashioned the first try after five minutes by catching “a chip and go” from a fellow teammate within the Tigers’ own 22, and then broke through the defence line to set up a further attack, leading to the first score of the day.
The other two assists were very similar in that Ollie received and carried the ball at pace, then fixed the defender to put pin point passes into the wide channel for the oncoming winger to score.