Mor­gan’s pride af­ter Col­lege pair sign deals

Gloucestershire Echo - - ATHLETICS - Tay­lor POWLING gloslives­[email protected]­

» OLLY Mor­gan has spo­ken of his im­mense pride of see­ing two of his Chel­tenham Col­lege stu­dents sign pro­fes­sional con­tracts with Glouces­ter Rugby.

De­spite not be­ing a part of the academy for long, Jack Cle­ment and Charles Tchen have al­ready penned pro­fes­sional deals with the King­sholm-based out­fit.

Mor­gan, a past player for Glouces­ter and for­mer Eng­land in­ter­na­tional who is now di­rec­tor of rugby at Chel­tenham Col­lege, has been de­lighted with the suc­cess­ful work of the school in pro­ject­ing new talent.

He said: “I am im­mensely proud. Yet more pupils achiev­ing pro­fes­sional con­tracts once again demon­strates the strength of our pro­gram and also the long-stand­ing link with Glouces­ter Rugby.

“Although Jack and Charles have not been all the way through the path­way, it high­lights their com­mit­ment and worth ethic.

The sto­ries of Cle­ment and Tchen fol­low in the foot­steps of many oth­ers that have emerged through the academy scheme in re­cent years.

“It is fan­tas­tic to have these pupils join Tom Stan­ton, Cameron Terry, Will Goodrick-clarke and Ol­lie Thor­ley as cur­rent pro­fes­sion­als,” said Mor­gan.

Thor­ley has been in­volved in re­cent Eng­land squads and Mor­gan be­lieves he has set an ex­am­ple of the high­est or­der for oth­ers to fol­low.

“I have no doubt that these boys will match his lev­els of ef­fort and hope­fully we will see the out­comes in their re­sults on the pitch over the com­ing years,” he said.

Cle­ment ini­tially was a crick­eter, but dis­cov­ered an un­wa­ver­ing pas­sion for rugby as he was a ma­jor part of the Col­lege side that went un­beaten in 2018 and was cap­tain a year later.

His strong per­for­mances for school and club have also en­abled Cle­ment to rep­re­sent Eng­land at Un­der-18 and Un­der-19 level.

Tchen has been in ter­rific form on the wing and the po­ten­tial he has shown has led to him be­ing of­fered a ‘short term’ pro­fes­sional con­tract.

Their out­stand­ing pro­gres­sion through the Col­lege pro­gram will cul­mi­nate with the pair po­ten­tially go­ing head to head with play­ers such as Danny Cipri­ani and Billy Twel­ve­trees in train­ing.

Only join­ing the Academy last Oc­to­ber, Tchen said: “It’s amaz­ing to be in this po­si­tion. I have re­ally en­joyed de­vel­op­ing my game at Col­lege and to have a con­tract to con­tinue play­ing pro­fes­sion­ally is a dream.”

Cle­ment, a for­mer Un­der-17 academy tri­al­ist him­self, fur­ther added, “I have had a fan­tas­tic time at Col­lege, rep­re­sent­ing my coun­try and now sign­ing a pro­fes­sional con­tract.

“Thank you to Olly Mor­gan and Nick Runci­man for coach­ing and in­spir­ing us over the past few years. Not only do they train and ad­vise us on how to keep a bal­ance be­tween our work and sport but they are also com­mit­ted to us de­vel­op­ing as play­ers and as peo­ple.”

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