January 19, 2022 2.00 pm

Lincolnshire rugby star gets first England call-up ahead of Six Nations

Ollie started playing rugby in Sleaford just eight years ago

A 21-year-old rugby star from Lincolnshire has seen his dreams come true, as he has been named in the England squad for the upcoming Six Nations tournament.

Ollie Chessum, 21, was born in Boston and began playing rugby at Carre’s Grammar School in Sleaford, before playing club rugby in the town, eventually joining Nottingham – and now ending up at Premiership Rugby side Leicester Tigers.

He has made 14 appearances this season for Tigers as a Lock and impressed England coach Eddie Jones, who has made the decision to name him in the national squad for the Six Nations Championship, which starts on Saturday, February 5.

Ollie has impressed in the Premiership for Leicester Tigers this season. | Photo: Leicester Tigers

The Six Nations is an annual international rugby union competition between England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy and France, and is among the most prestigious tournaments in the sport.

It will be Chessum’s first call-up to the national setup and he is among six new faces in the England squad, who will meet in Brighton on Monday, January 24 to begin training ahead of their opening match away in Scotland on February 5.

Ollie’s meteoric rise has seen him go from starting playing secondary school rugby in Lincolnshire to potentially representing his country in just eight years, and he is the only player from the county to be included in this England squad.

An impressive rise to the top for Boston-born Ollie Chessum. | Photo: Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick said: “We want all of our players at Leicester Tigers to strive for the highest honours in the game, so we are pleased for all those called up to national squads whenever the opportunity comes.

“Ollie Chessum is a young man who has made great strides since arriving at Leicester Tigers last year and has worked incredibly hard to improve his game and contribute to the club.

“This will be a fantastic experience for Ollie, working with Eddie Jones and the national coaches, and one that will only further improve his game and continue to see him move his game forward.”

Angus Shaw, the club president of Ollie’s former local team Kesteven Rugby Club, said: “We are overwhelmed with joy at Ollie’s selection. It’s testament to his hard work and talent that at 21 he’s been recognised as worthy of rubbing shoulders with legends of the game.

“Ollie’s selection comes in the same week fellow Black Army player Geordie Irvine made his debut for England U20s. Both Ollie and Geordie are home-grown talents and they have made our club family, as well as their actual families, very proud.

“We wish them all the luck in the world as they take their first steps into the international arena.

“In the 75 years history of the Club, we’ve never had a full international coming through our ranks. Like buses, we seem to have two come along at once!”