RUGBY: England U18s trial for Princethorpe’s Midlands rugby star

James Hobbs
James Hobbs

James Hobbs one of the top 12 second rows in the country

When sixth former James Hobbs first arrived aged 12 at Princethorpe College he had never picked up a rugby ball before. Now in his final term, the 18-year-old he can proudly claim to be one of the top dozen second rows in the country.

James hadn't picked up a rugby ball before arriving at Princethorpe when he was 12 - now he's representing the Midlands

James hadn't picked up a rugby ball before arriving at Princethorpe when he was 12 - now he's representing the Midlands

Hobbs’ rugby trajectory has been steady and impressive. Being led by a succession of quality coaches at the College including former Head Warwickshire Coach Jon Fitt and former pro player Stuart Friswell, James has developed his game to within a breath of England selection.

Describing the first big step of his rugby career as being selected to play for County in Year 10, Hobbs has not been left out of the Warwickshire squad since and has been their captain for the last two years. This season saw him join 180 other hopeful regional players at four successive trial and assessment days before being honoured with Midlands U18 selection.

Carrying this prestigious feather in his cap the Princethorpe College 1st XV 2nd row took to the pitches at Loughborough University last weekend for a gruelling rugby festival with his eye on England U18 selection.

“Unfortunately I didn’t make it through,” he explained. “I’m waiting for full feedback but at 6ft 4 I think my size might have been against me as there were guys there who were three or four inches taller. Nonetheless it was an amazing weekend. At the start of the season my eye was on Midlands’ selection and to have made it as far as potential England selection has been an incredible journey.”

Princethorpe College Director of Rugby Jon Fitt added: “James’s journey to near England selection has been exceptional. From a timid young Year 7 B Team player to where he is now is testament to his level of passion and dedication to a hard sport. In the eight years I have spent at the College James is the first to play U18 at this level and we are all hugely proud of his achievement.”