Future’s bright for young prop James

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Christmas has come early for young James McKeown after he was selected for the

Under-16 London and South East rugby team following

trials last week.

The 16-year-old Bishops Bell Church of England pupil was one of only three under-16 Sussex County team players invited to try out for the regional team after a string of impressive county performances.

And he must have done something right as, less than 48 hours after the trials, they phoned to say he had been successful.

The prop forward, who plays for Hove and attends the Harlequins School of Rugby, will now take part in a development camp at the end of January with his first match potentially coming in February.

He said “I’m really excited. It’s a great opportunity for me as I’d like to play professionally one day and maybe even go on to represent Scotland.”

James started playing rugby eight years ago after his ‘rugby mad’ dad Steve got him involved in the sport. Since then, James has gone on to represent his county for the past two seasons, as well as Scotland Exiles.

The Eastbourne teenager will join the likes of Joe Marler and Dylan Hartley as products of the Eastbourne’s youth rugby set-up and hopefully follow in their footsteps to play internationally someday.

James’ mum, Joanne, said, “I don’t think he could’ve asked for a better Christmas present. We’re all extremely proud and wish him lots of luck.”