Twin brothers that represented Diss Rugby Club last season are ready to embark on the next stage of their careers in Canada.
Ewan and Patrick Lawton, who turned 19 last weekend, are originally from Yorkshire.
However, with father Lee posted to RAF Wattisham, much of their childhood was spent on the Norfolk and Suffolk border.
Having played junior rugby within the ranks at Diss, the pair stepped up to the first team during 2015-16 and made an instant impression, so much so that they were both selected for the Eastern Counties side.
Now, the Lawtons have secured themselves scholarships starting in August at Bishop’s University in Quebec, where they will combine studying with time spent out on the rugby pitch.
Yet, while the siblings will now head to the northern half of North America, both are keen to express their gratitude for the support they received at Mackenders.
“Diss showed me that you can be valued as a player,” said business management student Ewan.
“They always offered to pay for our train tickets if we needed to come down and just generally looked after us.
“The social side of things was great and it was a place to be happy.”
Patrick, who will study accounting and finance, added: “The London League is full of players that have played at a higher level at that has helped us a lot.
“We learned so much from the experienced players and will always be grateful for the way we were treated.”
Canada is by no means a household name within the sport, with their national side ranked 18th in the latest World Rugby standings.
Nevertheless, the duo, who will have some kit sponsored by Samuari Sports for this venture, believe that their skills can still be enhanced across the Atlantic.
“It is a growing sport in Canada,” said Patrick.
“We played a bit when we went out there to visit and won a tournament.”
“The standard is improving and a lot of the players have great athleticism.”