St John’s student Elliott Herrod-Taylor has presented the Rugby shirt he wore while playing in the England Under-17 squad to St John’s. The shirt will be displayed in the school and sixteen-year-old Elliott hopes it will inspire students at the school to work hard to achieve their own personal goals.
Elliott has been playing Rugby since the age of six, and had already played at County level for Berkshire and for Dorset and Wilts, and trains every Monday with Bath Rugby. Earlier this year Elliott’s dream of being selected for the England squad came true, and he has since played against Scotland, Canada and Wales. He has recently been focusing on his GCSE examinations at St John’s, and is hoping that his results will enable him to take up the offer of a sports scholarship at Marlborough College where he will study for his A-levels.
Elliott thoroughly enjoyed the experience of training with other top Rugby players during a week’s training camp at Wellington College earlier this year. “The atmosphere was fantastic” explained Elliott. “We were living, training and eating together, and we were treated like professional players. We had presentations for our shirts before each match, where we wore our England ties and dress shirts, and had sports massages and ice baths pre and post the matches.
I was really nervous before each match, but as you come through the tunnel, you forget about your nerves and start to focus on the match. We won against Scotland and Canada, and we were winning against Wales, before I was taken off through injury. Wales went on to win.
It felt really special and great to represent my country and I want to try hard to be there again at U18 level. It was very inspirational, and I made some good friends from all over the country”.
The shirt, now beautifully framed, was presented by Elliott, his parents and his younger brother to St John’s Headteacher Dr Patrick Hazlewood, who congratulated Elliott on his achievement and wished him every success. “This is a wonderful achievement” said Dr Hazlewood. “I feel sure that Elliott has the determination that is needed to succeed in this highly-competitive area, and I am proud that we at St John’s have been able to help him towards achieving his goals”.
Longer term, Elliott plans to go to University after completing his A-Levels. He hopes to continue to play with Bath Rugby, and is aiming for an Academy Contract, which will pay his university costs, while allowing him to compete at Under-18 and Under-20 level and then to play for Bath’s premiership team.