Stelling sets sights on Under 20s starting berth

Warriors youngster Max Stelling has set his sights on a starting place for the England Under 20s in their Six Nations campaign, which kicks-off against France tomorrow.

The centre has impressed for Warriors this season after being presented with opportunities by Director of Rugby Dean Ryan across all competitions.

And although the 19-year-old isn’t in the Under 20s squad for the opening Six Nations fixture, he insists he will keep his head down to try and earn a place in the starting 15.

He said: “My targets are to get as much first-team rugby as I can at Warriors and I want to get into that starting side with the England Under 20s.

“In my position there is quite a bit of competition. I am just trying to keep my head down and I will keep working my socks off to try and get into that starting line-up.”

Stelling missed out on call-ups for the Under 16s and 18s and admitted he was delighted to get the nod for the Under 20s ahead of this year’s Six Nations.

He added: “It is huge for me because I missed out a number of times in the lower age-groups so to finally break into the Under 20s is great.

“I got the call on the handsfree the day before the squad was announced but I didn’t cheer about it too much as I had to stay focused for a game on the Friday night.

“Nevertheless I was delighted and I’m hoping I can repay the selectors’ faith over the next couple of months.”

Fellow Academy star Ben Howard played for the Under 20s last year where he won both the Six Nations and IRB Junior World Championship.

And Stelling wants to emulate his Warriors’ teammate’s achievement, although he could come up against fellow Warriors youngsters in Jack Cosgrove and Ben Vellacott, who have been named in the Scotland squad.

He concluded: “If they get selected and I get selected it will be good fun to come up against them. It will be a decent match.

“England age-groups are always very strong teams. They have very gifted runners and always have a solid pack.

“I don’t think anything is different this year so hopefully we will have a good chance of regaining the Six Nations.”