Brooksby Melton College student George Martin is hoping to make his mark on the international stage after being called up to the England Under 18s rugby squad.
The talented 16-year-old earned his call-up after a string of successful performances for BMC in the Academic and Sporting Excellence (AASE) League, and for the Leicester Tigers Academy.
England U18s open their season against France in Digne-les-Bains on Saturday (kick-off 2pm GMT) and then play Scotland on Sunday, March 18 at Stirling County RFC (KO noon) and Wales, in Pontypridd, seven days later (KO 4.15pm).
They will then return to Wales for the Six Nations Festival where England U18s will play Scotland on Saturday, March 31, Italy on Wednesday, April 4, and France on Sunday, April 8.
George said: “I’m pleased to be chosen for the England U18 training squad and thankful to the academy and college staff who have challenged and supported me throughout this academic year.
“I’m really enjoying the challenge of playing at this level. It has been difficult to learn how the other players play and think, as we don’t yet know each other well, but things were starting to click by the end of the training week in Bristol.
“I’m really looking forward to the upcoming games and hopefully the lads can put in a good performance in France.”
Tom Harrison, the Leicester Tigers Academy coach at BMC, said: “Here at Brooksby Melton College, we aim to transition our student athletes onto a higher level of performance.
“At first glance, many will assume that this refers only to rugby performance, but that’s only a third of the programme.
“In addition to rugby training, we work alongside academic staff to ensure the players are growing academically and that they are leaving with qualifications that will allow them to gain access to Higher Education and employment.
“And within the lifestyle section, we work alongside the welfare support team and the academy psychologist to help these players develop both on and off the pitch.”
George is not the only BMC student relishing a little international spotlight.
Fellow Academy player Alex Maxwell spent last week in Scotland training with the Scottish Exiles as they prepare for their U18 international season.
And a further five players were selected for the county U18 squad, with two also selected for the Midlands U18 training group.
BMC have 18 players involved with county U17 programmes across Leicestershire, Staffordshire, Nottingham, Lincolnshire, and Derbyshire.
This year’s BMC AASE team finished fourth in the national AASE league, reached the county cup final, and qualified to represent the East Midlands at national college competitions later this year.
The AASE programme has also seen 11 players represent the Leicester Tigers U18 Academy this year, with two more players from the programme turning out for the Tigers first team in the LV Cup against Wasps.