One of the hottest rugby talents in the country is set to make his debut for Sudbury on Saturday — in one of the biggest games in their history.
Lightning Northampton Saints and England Under-17s winger George Wacokecoke is hoping to play a leading role as Sudbury look to pull off the great escape and avoid the embarrassment of relegation to the Eastern Counties League.
The 17-year-old was due to make his debut on February 16, but was drafted into Northampton Saints’ under-18s squad.
But Richards can now release promising England Under-17s pairing Wacokecoke and Saints Academy and St Joesph’s College’s teammate Austin Beckett for Sudbury’s last home game, against Harlow on Saturday (3pm).
“I had a chat with the regular guys and they want me to pick him (Wacokecoke) and that shows the good spirit within the camp,” said Richards, whose side begin a crucial three-game run-in three points adrift of safety, the others away to top four sides South Woodham Ferrers and Cantabrigian.
“He was going to play last week (but was then unavailable). He is the best winger of his age in the country.
“I have coached and mentored him since he was 13 years old.”
Only missing Ethan Wright, Richards said he has the strongest squad he has had all season to choose from, but admits it will be far from easy against the seventh-placed side who have won three of their last four games.
“They gave us a bit of a hiding down there (37-18) and a bit like us, on their day they are a good side,” he said, with Suds having not played for four weeks come Saturday due to the cold snap, while Harlow played out a 36-3 win over Beccles on Easter Saturday.
“At the end of the day all we can do is get results, whatever other teams do is beyond our control,” added Richards, who has called on the home crowd to help roar them to victory.
“Harlow is one of those places that has a partisan crowd and that is what I would like to see Saturday — good vociferous support.”
As part of Richards’ blueprint to improve the club’s fortunes next season, a rugby committee established with Gareth Evans as the chairman. Mike Beckett remains the club chairman.
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