Oaklands Rugby Academy alumni scores try on Six Nations debut
Former Oaklands Wolves Rugby Academy student Nick Tompkins, who moved to professional rugby side Saracens shortly after finishing his course at Oaklands College, was named in the Wales Six Nations squad for this year's competition.
Former Oaklands Wolves Rugby Academy student Nick Tompkins, who moved to professional rugby side Saracens shortly after finishing his course at Oaklands College, was named in the Wales Six Nations squad for this year’s competition.
Nick, who studied at Oaklands College from 2011 to 2013, enrolled onto a Level 2 Award in Improving Personal Exercise, Health and Nutrition, before completing a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Sciences.
After his selection for the Wales Six Nations squad, Nick went on to mark this occasion with a debut try in Saturday’s Six Nations win against Italy.
Speaking to the BBC, Nick said: “That was for my gran – she’s the reason why I’m here.”
Speaking of his emotional celebration after his debut try, Nick added: “I had no control over that. I went blank. That celebration was emotion and probably a bit of anxiety and relief all together!”
Nick is one of a list of stand-out Rugby Academy breakthrough athletes, joining the likes of Jack Singleton, brothers Joel and John Kpoku and many others at local side, Saracens.
Having previously represented England Under-20s before committing to Wales, Nick said: “It’s a new challenge with the new coaches and staff, we’re all heading int he right direction.”
Oaklands College Head of Rugby Chris Waring was at the college when Nick emerged as part of the programme, he said:
“We knew Nick was a highly talented player before he even arrived at Oaklands as a 16-year-old. He had excellent technical ability coupled with athleticism and a highly competitive nature, so was always going to develop into an exceptional player. It’s difficult to understand why he has been overlooked by England up to now but England’s loss is very much Wales’ gain and he looks very much at home at international level.”
If you’re inspired by Nick’s journey and are interested in joining our Rugby Academy, you can discover more about the programme and upcoming trials here.