|Weight||103kg (16st 3lb)|
Memories of facing the Haka are still vivid in the mind of Joel Conlon, who played for Ivybridge Community College in the final of the Sanix World Youth tournament in Japan against Hamilton Boys High School from New Zealand. He said: “Even though we lost the match, it was part of a great experience in front of a big crowd.”
Joel, who has represented Somerset U16 and England U17, is studying for a National Diploma in Sports Development and Coaching at Ivybridge and is a member of Exeter Academy. Previously, he attended Trinity Church of England Primary and Heathfield Community School, both in Taunton, and began playing at his home town club there at the age of seven.
Peter Walton, the England U18 assistant head coach, focused Joel on key areas for improvement, building on the work of mentors such as John Clarke, who introduced him to the game at primary school and “started my love for it”. Andy Fielding, at Heathfield, boosted his growing improvement and Ron Gibson, the Exeter Chiefs Academy coach, “really pushed me and kept me heading in the right direction”.
Practical Joel added: “I want to reach my full potential as a player wherever that may take me. Also I want to continue in the game after that whether as a coach or even carrying on water. I should also like to look into business studies as something outside rugby.”
His top players are All Blacks’ back row forward Kieran Read and Lawrence Dallaglio and Twickenham is his favourite ground “because of the atmosphere”. Joel’s England U18 debut was when starting the game at Fylde in which France were beaten 18-16 in February 2012 and he bagged one of England’s three tries in the 20-8 victory over Scotland at Hawick the following month.
When again playing at No. 8, he scored a hat-trick of tries in the opening FIRA/AER European Championship victory by 58-8 over Georgia in Madrid in March 2012 and also shared in the other wins over Wales and Ireland, who were beaten 23-15 in the final.
He started the first three games for England U20 last year in their RBS 6 Nations title winning season, played in another two at the 2013 IRB Junior World Championship in June and scored two tries against the USA along the way to the title. Joel bagged two more in the 2014 Six Nations Championship at U20 level against Ireland and Italy.
U20 International Record
20 points – 4T
2013 S, I, F World Championship – SA(R), USA 2014 F, S(R), I, W, It
Last updated: March 28, 2014