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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Sunday, July 18th 2021

Watts hails young Bears' Six Nations showing

Senior Academy Manager, Gethin Watts hailed the performances of his international quartet following the conclusion of a hugely impressive U20 Six Nations competition.

Alex Groves, Deago Bailey and Jack Bates were all part of England U20’s Grand Slam campaign – their first title since 2017 – while Chay Mullins made his Ireland U20 debut against Italy.

And Watts has challenged the club’s young charges to kick on when preparations for the 2021/22 season get under way.

“It was excellent to watch the young players play at such a high level following a difficult year,” said Watts.

“It was a really competitive Six Nations competition, in a format that was unusual but something that I thought worked extremely well. To have four players involved in the competition is excellent for the club and such international experiences are only good for their development.

“It promotes their ability to operate at a high level, as well as their ability to adapt and thrive in different environments against competition from different countries.

“Congratulations to Alan Dickens and his team for completing the Grand Slam and I thought they were great value over the last few weeks. Alex (Groves), Deago (Bailey), Jack (Bates) and Chay (Mullins) played important roles during the championship, and for the England boys to taste success at this level is excellent for the development.

“It's been nice to watch the boys grow as the competition has developed and it's obvious to see their influence on the games, not only in key game moments but also their growing influence on others.

“I'm particularly delighted for Jack and Alex, as it is a great reward for the past 12 months. They have been pushed particularly hard in several and different aspects of the development and to see them excel at this level has been a privileged to watch.

“Deago and Chay have another year remaining in this age group and the experiences they have gleaned from this competition will not only stand him in good stead for the year ahead, but also to make an even greater impact in next season's competition.

“Seeing these boys play at this level is central to one of our key pillars of supporting players to play international rugby. We’re looking forward to seeing these boys come back into our environment once they've had a little break and seeing them kick on and hopefully wear the Bears jersey in the not-too-distant future.”


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