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Jake is mixing it with the best
JUST over a year ago Jake O’Neill had never played rugby before, but now the youngster is mixing it with some of the best players in the game as he tries to launch his own professional career.
The 14-year-old from Purton has recently joined the Worcester Warriors development programme following a spell at Bath, despite only taking the game up at the end of 2010.
Having started playing in PE at school, the Bradon Forest pupil began to play for Wootton Bassett where he was involved in a friendly game against Bath.
The scouts from the Rec were impressed with what they saw and invited him to train with their youth teams, and he eventually joined the club.
But while playing for Bath against Worcester last month he was spotted once again, and the Warriors scouts invited him to move to Sixways, an offer he accepted.
Warriors boast arguably the best training facilities in English rugby, and with the backing of millionaire owner Cecil Duckworth are pushing to make it to the top of the European game.
The club also has a good record of progressing players from its development squads into the first team, and the young back is convinced he is in the right place.
“I really like being at Worcester because everyone has made me feel very welcome and it is a great set-up,” he said.
“I would love to make a career out of playing rugby, because it is a great sport, even though I started off by just playing football.
“When I played against Worcester for Bath it was nice to be recognised, and I think being at Worcester feels a lot more professional and I feel more involved.”
The teenager trains and plays with both the Warriors’ U14 and U15 squads, and Jake’s father Dean was also pleased to see his son make the move up the M5.
“It is a much more professional club and he is a lot more involved up there,” he said.
“The coaching is first class and the facilities are brilliant and all of the coaches have been great with him.
“He has already spoken to the head coach Richard Hill who has been brilliant and given him some advice which I am sure will really help him in the long run.”
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