Ex-Diss RFC player eyeing World Championship glory
Members of Diss Rugby Club will have their eyes fixed firmly on the final of the World Rugby Under-20 Championships tomorrow night.
That is because Tom West, who rose through the ranks at Mackenders between 2001 and 2012, is due to be part of the England squad that takes on Ireland in the showpiece encounter at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.
West started the comprehensive group victories over Italy and Scotland, while he was a second-half substitute in the recent 39-17 semi-final triumph against South Africa.
It all means that the Wasps prop is now just 80 minutes away from being part of a third England side to clinch the title.
“Hopefully I can play my part in helping the England team lift the trophy on Saturday,” said the 20-year-old.
Duncan West, the current Diss RFC president and father of Tom, will attend the game to watch his son in action along with the youngster’s sibling Giles West, who plays for Diss’ first team.
“It’s been an amazing championship so far and we are truly delighted that Tom and his team-mates have made it to the final,” said the Diss official.
“I would like to sincerely thank everyone in the local community and Diss RFC for their best wishes for Saturday’s final.”
In Ireland, the English will be up against a side that advanced through a tough pool that contained the likes of Wales and New Zealand.
The Greens dismantled Argentina 37-7 in the last four to book their place in the final of the competition for the first time in their history.
With that performance in mind, England head coach Martin Haag believes that Ireland will be regarded as the favourites to prosper in Salford.
“We are really looking forward to the final against Ireland and we need to make sure we turn up for the occasion,” he told the Rugby Football Union’s official website.
“We are delighted to get to this position but we have got another job to do.
“Ireland were superb in their victory and I think the way they played will place them as favourites.”