Talented young rugby player Ethan Cole has moved a step closer to converting his dream of playing the sport professionally on a national stage into reality after being signed up by the much-decorated Leicester Tigers Rugby Club.
Ethan started playing rugby at the age of six at Castlecroft Rugby Club and also for his primary school, St Michael's, which one year made it through to the top 10 teams in the country in the national Tag To Twickenham competition.
The 14-year-old is the youngest member of his Wolverhampton club and was the first of his team to be spotted by scouts at Rugby Union side Leicester Tigers, which is the most successful English club since the introduction of league rugby in 1987.
Ethan’s path to success with the prestigious Leicester Tigers started when he was accepted on to the club’s Development Player Programme (DPP), which trains every week at Walsall Rugby Club. He was then selected to form part of the U15s Staffs side which won a tournament organised by the club before being invited to attend a talent academy held at Bishops Burton College in Hull.
The talent camp was held to decide which players would be selected to to fill one of only 30 places nationally on the club’s Elite Player Development Programme (EPDG) - and talented Ethan has been selected.
He is the only player from Wolverhampton DPP to have won a place and is now being assessed for the chance of taking part in a national tournament with the club on May 2.
Being in the EPDG means he will be training twice a week for the Leicester Tigers and will form part of the U16 Tigers team next year when the season starts.
Mr C.Moody, Head of Sport, said: “This really is a fantastic achievement. Leicester Tigers are the most successful English club and this is a genuine opportunity for him to be spotted by England coaches.”
Leicester Tigers play in the Aviva Premiership and are record 10-time English champions. They have appeared in a record nine successive Premiership finals, have never finished a league season below 6th position and are one of only four teams to have never been relegated from the top division. Leicester are also the most successful English side in Europe as back-to-back champions in 2001 and 2002 and losing finalists in 1997, 2007 and 2009.