Charlie Gowling (SH), 16, was capped for England U16 on Saturday and is competing for selection against Wales next weekend.

The scrum-half played for the England RFU U16 squad on Saturday, beating Scotland 32-22. He set up two of the tries and was presented with his cap by Rob Andrew, Rugby Operations Director of the RFU.

Charlie said: “I felt so proud, representing my country but it didn’t really sink in until I was in the car on my way home. Rob Andrew said to me that he had watched me and that I had played well. It felt like an amazing end to a long journey that started with playing for CND (Cumbria, Northumbria, Durham) but I know there is even further to go now.

My ultimate goal is to play for the England senior squad one day but my next priority is to get selected for the game against Wales this weekend and then, hopefully, to be selected for the U17 team. I would really like to play for Newcastle Falcons.”

Charlie moved from Wales to Sedbergh School two years ago, following in the footsteps of one of his childhood rugby idols James Simpson-Daniel, who he watched at Gloucester. “As a child I had a photo of me with James Simpson-Daniel on my wall. At the time I didn’t know he was an OS. I look up to OS players like this, along with Will Greenwood and Phil Dowson, and I’ve had a lot of support from current players at Sedbergh, such as Charlie Moorby who was selected for Leicester Academy. 

“I knew that if I wanted to go all the way, I had to come to Sedbergh. I moved here in Year 9 and my parents moved to Kirkby Lonsdale recently so that they could support me and come to more matches. Being here has really helped me to get to this stage. I’ve learnt how to deal with the pressure of performance and the need for concentration. With the England squad we have worked on psychology, with training from the Army as well.”

Charlie played for CND (Cumbria, Northumbria and Durham) in Autumn last year and was one of 100 selected for the North of England squad just before Christmas, and then one of three from that squad selected for the elite team that would form the U16 England squad. He played matches against South East, London, Midlands, Scotland and West France and his first international was against Scotland last Saturday at Wellington.

He plans to study PE, Psychology, Biology and Graphics in the Sixth Form after going on tour to South Africa with the School’s 1st XV team during the summer holiday.

Chris Hattam, Housemaster of School House, said: “Charlie has worked exceptionally hard to gain his cap for England. He has developed as a player on his journey through the football club and through his work with the Falcons. Charlie certainly does not like being second best at anything and I know that now he has the 9 shirt he will try as hard as he can to make sure he keeps it.

The other lads in the house have been thrilled for Charlie and respect his achievement; they recognise the effort that has gone into his technique and his fitness and conditioning. Well done Charlie from all of us in School House, we are all very proud of you.”

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