Former Leicester Tigers academy star Will Hurrell targets return to pro rugby

Will Hurrell believes he has been in the form of his life for Coventry this season EMN-150218-142843002

Will Hurrell believes he has been in the form of his life for Coventry this season EMN-150218-142843002

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Former Leicester Tigers academy star Will Hurrell is hoping to return to the professional ranks three years after turning his back on full-time rugby.

Hurrell was considered one of the Tigers brightest prospects and represented England at two U20 IRB Junior World Championships in 2009 and 2010.

Having found it tough to break into a star-studded Leicester side packed with internationals, he moved to London Welsh for their Championship title-winning season.

After years of full-time rugby, Hurrell became disillusioned with the sport. Release by Welsh and a move to Rotherham proved the tipping point and convinced him to choose academia and an alternative career away from rugby.

But a season-and-a-half of high quality semi-professional rugby with Coventry has helped Hurrell rediscover his zest for the game.

He said: “There’s been a lot going on in the last three years and I have grown up a lot.

“I have got my passion for rugby back and the last few seasons with Coventry has really lit a fire in my belly.

“The last thing I want to do is get to 37 and wonder if I could have done this or that. I want to give this a real crack.”

The winger’s nine tries in National League One and plentiful assists this season have helped turn Coventry into genuine title contenders.

Such form has also earned him a return to the England ranks, having worn the Red Rose at every age group up to under 20s level.

Now he is preparing for internationals against France and Scotland with the England Counties squad.

The call-up will be his second for the Counties XV, England’s non-professional representatives, after two appearances as a replacement in 2013.

He added: “It’s really nice to be involved and an honour to do it. It’s very similar to the (under) 20s set-up; like everything to do with England it’s very professional.

“Who knows, maybe I can push on after the Counties. I am ambitious and want to see how far I can go.”

Hurrell, who began his junior rugby career at Melton RFC, is nearing the final months of a three-year mathematics degree at Aston University, in Birmingham.

The degree should pave the way for several handsomely-paid careers, but firstly, an adventure within professional rugby beckons, wherever the U-turn may take him.

He said: “I’ve been to different clubs to gain an idea of what’s best for me in how to progress my career.

“My ambition is still to play in the Premiership. I’m at the gym every single day and feel in the best shape of my life.

“And mentally I’m in the best place I’ve ever been so it’s definitely do-able.

“I’m 25 now but I feel younger than I did when I was full-time, and I’m playing my best rugby.”