Three City of Oxford College rugby students have been selected for England U18 training camps over the October half term.
Ep Rokodrava and Archie McArthur were selected in the South Squad for a development camp in Bristol on Monday 26 October. Whilst Greg Fisilau was selected for an England U18 squad for a two-day camp at Bisham Abbey in the last week of October.
City of Oxford College was one of only four other schools or colleges nationwide to have three or more players represented across the England U18 development camps over the October half term.
All three students are enrolled onto Wasps ACE development player partnership rugby programme which was introduced at City of Oxford College in September 2019 and is in its second year of running.
The Wasps programme allows players a minimum of 12 hours of dedicated and timetabled rugby contact each week. Alongside this, students also study towards their chosen academic pathway which can include a BTEC, A Levels or Sporting Excellence (DiSE) Level 3 Diploma qualification.
Head of Rugby and Wasps Academy Coach, Gareth Harris, said: “It’s great to see that Archie, Ep and Greg have been rewarded for all the hard work that they’ve put in over the last 12 months.”
Speaking on the selection of the players, Gareth added: “It’s fantastic for Ep to be given this opportunity a year younger than expected, at just 16-years-old. It will only be good for his development to experience the environment and I know that he is driven to get further opportunities at that level.
“Archie joined the ACE programme in August 2019 and quickly showed his potential. From there he was given the opportunity to move into the Wasps Academy programme. His attitude towards his development has been excellent and its fantastic to see him getting these opportunities as a result of the hard work.
“We’ve seen huge growth in Greg over the last 12 months. When we returned to training from lockdown, we were all impressed with how he hit the ground running. It’s testament to how he has approached his training throughout that period.
“We’re looking forward to seeing what all three of the players can bring back to the environment off the back of their experience last week.”
Greg Fisilau, an U18 England training camp participant and rugby student at City of Oxford College, said: “The sessions were a step up in terms of the intensity and skill level. It provided a great learning opportunity alongside other very talented players. And of course, the food was excellent as well!”
On reflecting on the players achievements so far, Gareth added: “The support that we’ve been able to give each player in their development journeys on both the rugby and academic front is already beginning to show with players like Archie, Ep and Greg being given these opportunities.”
The Wasps ACE development player partnership programme is now recruiting talented year 11 students to join City of Oxford College from September 2021.
Find out more about the programme by visiting the Activate Learning website and submitting an enquiry for an assessment day.