Amazing news this past week as we learnt Dan Eckersley has been selected in Jim Mallinder’s under 18 squad travelling to South Africa to compete in the Under-18 International Series.
Mallinder’s side will play fixtures against Argentina (August 9), France (August 13) and South Africa Schools (August 17) during the series. Based at Stellenbosch Academy of Sport, the squad will fly to South Africa on August 4 for the annual development tour, which marks the start of the Under-18 international season and for many players, the start of their England journey! [Read more at https://www.premiershiprugby.com/2019/07/21/england-under-18s-name-squad-for-international-series/]
Dan came through the Minis at A&C, aided in so small part by Gareth and his team of coaches, and was truly inspired by Matt Allen. Dan was selected into Wasps and County, and subsequently through the ranks of the Wasps player development, and onto the England selection process. To be finally selected for the Under 18, is truly amazing. Close friends have seen how much dedication and sacrifice has gone into his journey.
To other Minis and Juniors reaching for the top, here's a few anecdotes should they be looking for inspiration - from close friend Jenny Evans:
- I think Dan gave up sweets, chocolates, crisps from the age of 13
- Emma was cooking him chicken breasts for breakfast
- Dan never touched a drop of alcohol (not that he should have of course!)
- Travelling up and down the M40 to Coventry mid-week
- Captaining the A&C team!
- Working in the A&C kitchen
- Gaining fantastic GSCEs
- ...all in Dan's understated but quietly confident manner. A true inspiration.
Well done Dan, and good luck for the upcoming tour.