Horsham duo given Harlequins chance

Sean Richardson, Tom Palmer
Sean Richardson, Tom Palmer

TWO HORSHAM youngsters have taken a huge step on the path to professional rugby careers by gaining selection for Harlequins under-15s.

Weald student and Horsham RUFC player Sean Richardson and Tom Palmer, from Christ’s Hospital, both represented Harlequins in the Southern division of the Premiership Academy 12s, held at Harrow School last Sunday.

The tournament brings together the top young rugby talent in the country and featured U15 academy teams from Harlequins, Wasps, London Irish, Saracens, Bath, Gloucester, Bristol and Exeter. The U15 tournament is the first age group at which the Premiership teams’ most promising players compete against each other and represents the first step in selection of an England U16 squad for the 2012/13 season.

Harlequins played six games overall, beating Wasps (15-5) and Bristol (30-0) but losing to Bath (10-5), Saracens (20-5), Gloucester (20-5) and London Irish (10-5) to finish fifth out of eight teams in the tournament.

Tom, a pacy winger who grabbed two tries in the tournament including a fine solo effort against London Irish, plays his rugby for Christ’s Hospital and has been a member of the Harlequins Sussex School of Rugby since Under 12. Tom also represented Sussex in a match versus Kent earlier in the season. Powerful back row forward Sean was singled out for praise for his outstanding work rate, an extremely high tackle count and one lung bursting break from his own ten metre line to deep in the opposition 22.