Back in November I was selected as 1/15 Brighton players to have the opportunity to trial for U15 Sussex rugby.
In my first trial we were put in groups then sent off into our chosen positions (for me scrum half) along with many others trialling for the same position. The standard of players was extremely high which made it tough to stand out in front of the Sussex selectors and the scouts from Harlequins.
Despite this I was lucky enough to be selected in the second Sussex trial at Brighton College ground. Here the chosen players were assessed further in how they played in a real game situation. As expected the standard of players was even higher so it was vital that I put myself out there for the coaches to see what I could do. I did this by showing myself to be a flexible player (showing I could play in different positions).
My idea didn’t exactly go to plan as I was then stuck for most of the trial at wing (not my favourite or chosen position) and felt very much out of my comfort zone and not exactly showing my full capability. I continued to play as well as I could and was fortunate enough to score some good tries. After the trial I felt like I hadn’t done enough to earn my place in the squad, however a few weeks later I was told that I had been selected as scrum half for the U15 Sussex Training Squad.
I then had two Sussex training sessions, where everyone showed off what they could really do, followed by a Sussex vs Sussex filmed game so the coaches could put together two quads (Sussex 1st XV & Sussex A). In the first match I was the only one from my club in the team but after a very good battle I was on the winning side; where I also managed to score my first try. We then had one more training session, going through moves and set play which was soon followed by an email telling us the chosen squads.
To my delight I had been named in the Sussex 1st XV going against Middlesex on the 11th March. It was a tough, fast and physical game but the squad fought hard till the last minute putting Middlesex on the back foot leaving us as the winners of the game 39-5.
Being selected for the Sussex 1st XV is a huge honour and a very big achievement for myself, coming from being a very inexperienced player in my local club to being named in the squad, along with one of my fellow Brighton team mates is massive; especially as we were the only players in the team who go to state schools. I’d like to recognise Mr Monk and fellow PE staff for all their support, giving up their spare time to help prepare and watch my trial, which has got me to this point.
Written by Harvey Browning