England call up for Harpenden RFC’s Alex Munday
PUBLISHED: 10:17 28 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:17 28 February 2013
HARPENDEN Rugby Club’s Alex Munday is joining an elite group of players to be selected to represent England under-16s.
Munday, pictured right, has become the first Harpenden player since Owen Farrell, George Ford and Maro Itoje to gain international honours at this level after earning a spot on the 72-man roster at last weekend’s Divisional Festival at Broadstreet RFC.
The next step for him is training camps with the squad in March and April where he will represent England against Northampton Saints Academy U17, Italy U17 and Wales U16.
Will Hutchins, Harps RFC’s director of rugby, said: “He is a 6ft 5’ 16-year-old who is an abrasive tackler and a highly intelligent rugby player.
“He is also a born leader of men, having captained Herts, Saracens academy and the South East England team – he brings out the best in those around him.”
The former Tring and OA player is the latest in a long line of Harpenden RFC products to break into the top ranks of the sport.
Hutchins told the Herts Ad the success of Harpenden players was down to the club’s approach to player development.
He said the club mirror what the top academies were doing, something rarely seen in smaller clubs.
“As an age group [under-16] we have only been concentrating on player development, and what we do is to push them into older teams. This is really important for the players,” he said before adding that while the club hasn’t won many trophies it has more county players than any other team.
One way to further the players’ progression is to invite guest coaches, and with Harpenden RFC’s close links with Saracens the team have benefited from training with ex-Welsh international Paul Turner and Matt Davies, the head of Sarries’ academy.
“They bring the cutting edge of coaching to us – it’s state of the art. Since we have a lot of players in academies and representative squads I don’t want them coming back and thinking our coaching is substandard.
“This also benefits the non-academy players because they get the best coaching available.”
And it is paying off. As well as Munday, Fraser Peglar and George Adamson reached the SE England and Midlands Divisional sides, respectively, and Alex McCormick has Scotland Exiles trials coming up.
The club also boasts the following U16s who are currently at the Saracens’ Academy: Harry and Harvey Hutchins; Peglar; Tim Bitirim; Fili Savou; Chris Cullen; McCormick; Munday; and, Lewis Malcolm-Hancock.
Munday is also Berkhamsted School’s first representative at England U16 since Will Fraser, who is now a Saracens RFC stalwart and on the fringes of full England 6 Nations squad.