Framlingham College pupil Ben Kelland has signed a two-year professional contract in France with Top 14 side Pau.
Kelland played an integral part in the spectacular success of the college’s first team this year, with the deal capping off an excellent season for the talented youngster.
As well as playing for the college, Kelland also played the whole of last season for Northampton Saints Under-18s and also performed impressively for his local club side Colchester, in National League Division Three South.
The teenager was not short of offers from Premiership clubs, but finally decided to sign for Pau and life in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
Framlingham College’s director of sport, Simon Sinclair, commented: “I am absolutely delighted for Ben, who has remained positive all the way through.
“He has enjoyed some real highs playing for England Under-16s and endured some tough times missing a whole season through injury.
“I think this has made Ben mentally all the stronger and this contract provides him with a really exciting opportunity to develop his rugby and explore the wonders of French culture.
“He has been a real pleasure to work with over the last six years and I wish him well in his new venture.”
Kelland remarked: “I am so happy and grateful for this opportunity as they don’t come around very often. I am looking forward to the next two years of playing rugby and embracing a new culture.”
Pau were champions of Rugby Pro D2 in 2014-15 to earn promotion back up into the Top 14.
With three games of the current season remaining they occupy 11th place on 41 points.