YOUNG GUNS

The Rugby Paper - - Feature - OL­LIE FOX

Boss­ing for­wards around the park is part and par­cel for a scrum-half, but teenager Ol­lie Fox says do­ing it to adults has been the ma­jor thing to get head around this sea­son.

The Eng­land U18s half-back plays a high tempo game which re­quires his pack to hit the rucks hard to en­sure quickly re­cy­cled ball to po­ten­tially catch the op­po­si­tion nap­ping.

His se­nior Carnegie de­but came against New­port Gwent Dragons last De­cem­ber while still at school and since leav­ing sixth form col­lege where he took A-lev­els in psy­chol­ogy, his­tory and PE, Fox has started his first full sea­son in se­nior rugby in Na­tional Two North play­ing on loan with Hud­der­s­field.

“It’s a mas­sive chal­lenge to go from Eng­land U18s rugby to the se­nior level, es­pe­cially when it comes to man­ag­ing men rather than boys your own age” Fox told The Rugby Pa­per.

“I’m re­view­ing games all the time with the coaches at Carnegie and ev­ery­thing is go­ing well so far. I’ve played quite a bit for Hud­der­s­field al­ready and I’m en­joy­ing it.

“I’m in the swing of things now hav­ing got­ten to know the play­ers and for them to know who I am and how I play the game. I re­ally en­joy play­ing with a high tempo and im­pact on the game by in­ject­ing a lot of pace. It was easy to do at U18 level be­cause every­one is al­ways keen to have a go. But you can’t do that as much in se­nior rugby so I’m learn­ing to pick my bat­tles bet­ter.”

Fox toured South Africa with Eng­land U18s in Au­gust and is keen to kick on for higher hon­ours.

He added: “The tour to South Africa was brilliant be­cause it opened my eyes to an­other way of play­ing rugby. I’m still very young but I’ve learnt a lot from those three weeks and I’m a bet­ter player for it.

“I played a cou­ple of games for Carnegie in the B&I Cup last sea­son and I hope I can add to that this sea­son. The first team squad is pretty small this sea­son so I should get some good op­por­tu­ni­ties to play for them dur­ing the sea­son.”

De­spite his sport­ing as­pi­ra­tions, Fox is fully aware his rugby ca­reer can be over in a flash so he’s re­mained in ed­u­ca­tion by en­rolling in a Sport, Ex­er­cise and Sci­ence de­gree at Leeds Beck­ett Univer­sity.

He added: “You never know what’s go­ing to hap­pen so I al­ways thought I’d be go­ing to Univer­sity once I left school, which is en­cour­aged by Carnegie.

“If any­thing not play­ing full-time keeps you in­ter­ested in the game be­cause that’s some­thing ex­tra you do. I want to be known as a per­son rather than just a rugby player.

“Play­ing rugby is great but my ed­u­ca­tion has to take pri­or­ity. “I’m quite good when it comes to time man­age­ment so I’m con­fi­dent I’ll be able to com­bine study­ing full­time with play­ing rugby quite well.”

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