Irish eyes smile on aspiring Oaklands rugby star

Conor Wharton, a student at Oaklands College, will play for Ireland in the U18 Five Nations

Conor Wharton, a student at Oaklands College, will play for Ireland in the U18 Five Nations - Credit: Archant

An aspiring rugby player from Oaklands Wolves Rugby Academy is celebrating after being selected to represent Ireland in the U18 Five Nations Championships later this year.

Conor Wharton, 17, has been with the Academy for two years and although originally from Sweden, he is qualified to represent Ireland because of his mother’s Irish heritage.

He said: “It was really exciting to be selected. I went through a lot of trials which were difficult and tiring but it was all worth it in the end.”

Wharton, along with around 60 other players, was put through his paces at several vigorous trials, where he impressed the judges and was selected for the final team.

Having previously lived in Sweden, which is not renowned for rugby, Conor has found that his time at the Academy has helped him improve his skills in the game.

He said: “Rugby isn’t really a big deal in Sweden so the Academy has helped me improve my game massively.

“We get access to consistent training and our coaches continuously give us feedback on where we’re improving and what we need to work on.

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“We also have great facilities like the gym and the pitches,”

Chris Waring, head of rugby at Oaklands, said: “With Conor coming to us from a country with limited rugby training, we had an opportunity to see how far we could push him.

“He has had the chance to access our coaching and facilities and this has helped him to progress to a higher level.

“He’s done really well and we wish him all the best in the competition.”

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