- Watson says he cannot wait to play alongside childhood hero Will Greenwood
- Hoping that Twickenham performance will impress England coaches
Photo: RFU Archive
England U18 international Anthony Watson is relishing the prospect of taking to the field with childhood hero Will Greenwood on December 3 for the Heroes Rugby Challenge.
Watson, 17, says that just getting the call up was a massive honour, and at first he couldn’t believe it was true.
“My dad actually told me, and I couldn’t believe him at first. I had to speak to the London Irish academy manager, Neil Hatley, because I was sure it was a wind up.” Watson said.
“To be selected is obviously a massive honour. I think I’ll be a bit nervous playing in front of a big Twickenham crowd, but once I get out there it will be great.”
The London Irish wing has played at Twickenham before, with his school St. Georges, but understands that the occasion will be much bigger this time around.
Lining up alongside Watson will be some great names of Northern Hemisphere rugby, but the youngster insists that this won’t hold him back.
He said: “Being able to play alongside the likes of Will Greenwood and Serge Betsen, who are childhood heroes, is something I am really looking forward to.
“Running out at Twickenham is an unbelievable feeling. This time the crowd will be even bigger, which should make it even more exciting.
Photo: Getty Images
“There will be so many great players on the pitch; hopefully I can pick a few things up.”
Watson, whose last minute try secured the U18s place in the final of the FIRA/AER Championship in April this year, says that the nature of the Heroes Rugby Challenge will spur him on.
He said: “It’s a huge inspiration for me. They do so much for the country, it’s a real honour to do something for them, and I think that’s something we can draw on in the game itself.”
Having already achieved so much, Watson insists there is no danger of him getting too big for his boots, thanks to his brother, and England Sevens star, Marcus.
Photo: GHetty Images
He said: “My family are really good at keeping my feet on the ground. I can always rely on Marcus to put me in my place!”
As for his England hopes this season, Watson insists he’s just focusing on playing good rugby and seeing what happens. But the 17-year-old understands that the Heroes Rugby Challenge is a good place to make a claim for an U20s spot.
He said: “Obviously I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have an ambition of playing for the U20s, but I’m just going to try and play good rugby and see where that takes me. Hopefully some of the coaches will be watching the Heroes Rugby Challenge though!”
Check here for ticket information about the Heroes Rugby Challenge.