Archie Griffin, Gabriel Hamer-Webb, Xavier Hastings, Nahum Merigan, Max Ojomoh and George Worboys have all agreed senior Academy contracts with Bath Rugby ahead of the 2019/20 season forming part of the Club's commitment to deliver a 50% homegrown squad by 2023.
NAME – GEORGE WORBOYS
AGE – 18
POSITION – FULL-BACK
PREVIOUS CLUB / SCHOOL – BEECHEN CLIFF
WHERE DID YOUR RUGBY JOURNEY START?
“I started my rugby in the under eights, my first coach was Andy McDonald and he used to play for the Barbarians and Scotland. He saw a lot of potential in me and still to this day he gives me advise about my rugby.
“I moved to Chippenham RFC for the under-11s where I developed my game further and I feel through my years there, the level of my game went up another notch. I had John Carter and Steve Ojomoh, which is where I started playing with Max Ojomoh.
“I feel like Chippenham was the beginning of my path to where I am now. I worked my way up to Dorset and Wiltshire and then into the Bath Rugby U18s programme.”
WHICH PLAYER DO YOU LOOK UP TO?
“Growing up, it was definitely Jonny Wilkinson. Purely for his hard work and dedication on and off the pitch, his determination to be the best was probably the biggest thing that inspired me. I quickly learnt that kickers win matches and that the small margins in games can be so fine.
“The kicking game can be the difference between success and failure. As I have grown older, I aspire to Owen Farrell because he runs the show and his professionalism is second to none.”
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO LEARN FROM THE PLAYMAKERS IN THE FIRST TEAM SQUAD?
“I want to learn off all the first team player, especially the playmakers and leaders in the team. I want to see how they look after and manage the game and also the leaders, see how they control situations on the pitch and put a solution to the problem.“
REFLECTION ON 2018/19
On Beechen Cliff
“The boys are all in similar environments, so the transition was easy. It was easy to transfer our skills that we have learnt from one to the other and playing with that same group of players at Beechen allowed the Bath U18s to be a cohesive group from the off.
“We all came together as a group and everyone helped each other out. As well with my school team, Beechen Cliff, we had the most players in the England U18s squad which was an amazing achievement.”
On Bath Rugby U18s
“It was amazing for me to play in a team that had such a good sense of direction, the coaching team had a vision and we all understood it and brought into it. We all came together and bonded well, we trained hard and played even harder and we had a lot of fun along the way. Everything we put in, we got out of it at the end.
“The game against Wasps, which the game produced over a hundred points scored. It was great because we recovered from a big deficit at half-time and we came around that challenge to win, and it just goes to show that anything is possible, it was a real learning curve.”
WHAT SKILLS WILL YOU BRING TO THE SQUAD?
“I am a good reader of the game, I watch a lot of rugby externally away from playing and I feel that my understanding of the game is quite good. I have found that I am good at finding a solution in game scenarios, which allows the team to come away with quick ball and it opens up the game.
“I am good at putting other players into space and beating players. I am a good communicator and helping others on the pitch. I feel I have a good kicking game and I like to step up in defensive confrontations.”
HOW WILL IT FEEL BEING REUNITED WITH TOM DE GLANVILLE?
“I am really looking forward to playing with Tom (de Glanville) again, we played at Beechen Cliff together last year. He is a really great player. He is very knowledgeable, and I have learnt a lot from him. I am following the same pathway as him from Beechen, to the academy and with England, which I am really enjoying. Our playing styles are quite similar, and I would say we are complimentary to each other.”
HOW DID IT FEEL SIGNING FOR THE SENIOR ACADEMY?
“It was a dream come true. I was really over the moon. When I was born, I was wrapped in a Bath Rugby baby grow and I have supported the team for my entire life. I am very passionate about the club and playing for Bath is something that I have always wanted to do, and it is my dream to hopefully go on and play for the first team.
“I feel like I am in the right place at the right time, the partnership between Beechen Cliff and the academy has allowed me this opportunity. I really hope that I can implement my game, learn off the other players and coaches and this is a real chance for me to showcase my skills.”
GABRIEL HAMER-WEBB ON GEORGE WORBOYS –
“George is a really great friend of mine and he has so much knowledge despite being so young. The way he moves and passes – he just thinks 10 steps ahead of everyone else.”