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Alumni Receives First England Cap

Published on 19/09/18

Claremont Fan Court School alumni Billy Harding (Class of 2011) returned to Claremont Fan Court School in September to present one of his England Counties playing shirts, from their successful tour of Romania in June 2018.

Billy received news of his call-up to the England Counties team in May, the same week he turned professional with Championship club, London Scottish. He says it was an “amazing surprise” that it all happened at once after 4 years playing as Hooker for Esher semi-professionally.

Billy left Claremont Fan Court School after completing his GCSE’s in 2009 and went on to study for A Levels at Hampton School. Head of Rugby, Mark Yeoman, recalled Billy’s natural talent for rugby at School and was pleased to hear of his recent success. After Hampton, Billy began a degree in Criminology at Roehampton, but his passion for the sport won out and in 2014 he left for New Zealand to spend a year playing in Auckland. After returning to the UK and a strong 2017 season at Esher, Billy was selected for the England Counties team. While on tour in Romania, Billy played in all three games, the warm-up match against CSM Bucharest, Romania U23s and Romania A respectively, a prerequisite to receiving his first cap for his country.

As well as the fixtures, England Counties undertook outreach work in Bucharest to help grow the game in Romania. Billy is keen to share his love of the game and has already undertaken coaching with St Benedict’s School in Ealing and RGS Guildford. We look forward to seeing him back on the Claremont fields to inspire our current pupils in the near future and wish him well at London Scottish.