Rugby: Earl teams up with Eddie’s new recruits in South Africa

Rugby: Earl teams up with Eddie's new recruits in South Africa

FORMER Tonbridge School pupil Ben Earl has been chosen for England’s rugby union tour of South Africa.

The Red Rose side face the Springboks in a three-Test series starting in Johannesburg on Saturday [June 9].

Earl, who has yet to earn his first international cap, is one of eight uncapped players chosen by coach Eddie Jones while more established players are rested.

The 20-year-old used to play at centre before moving into the back row, where he usually operates as an openside flanker.

A member of the Saracens academy, he made his debut for the senior Sarries side in November 2016 and scored on his Aviva Premiership debut against Exeter in March.

Earl has signed a new contract with the Premiership champions, and Sarries’ director of rugby Mark McCall said: ‘His development has been hugely encouraging. Ben is part of a fantastic crop of exciting young players coming through our academy.’

He has completed his first year at Queen Mary University of London, where he is studying comparative literature.

Earl attended The New Beacon School in Sevenoaks and began playing for the town’s rugby team at the age of 12. He went on to captain the Tonbridge School First XV.

He has represented his country at Under-16, U18 and U20 age groups.

The latter side won the Grand Slam and reached the final of the U20 World Cup in Georgia last year.

He captained England U20s against France and Wales during last year’s Six Nations and led the side again throughout this year’s Championship.

He scored a try against New Zealand in the U20 World Cup final and also touched down against both Italy and Ireland this year.

A talented all-round sportsman, he has swum at national level and played cricket for Kent U14s and U15s.

PICTURE: MAKING HIS MARK: Ben Earl scored against Exeter on his Premiership debut

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