SUDBURY’S Austin Beckett enjoyed a dream full debut for England under-16s, scoring a brace of tries to book his place in the side to take on Italy.
And ahead of flying to Parma on April 1, the St Joseph’s College pupil has revealed he cannot wait to further demonstrate his skills on the wing, having come one steady step away from bagging a hat-trick against London Wasps’ under-17s.
The whole club’s attention shifted to how their rising star fared at the weekend, with the first team’s scheduled home game with Colchester in the Suffolk Cup postponed due to Sudbury not having enough available forwards to contest scrums.
Beckett was watched by his proud father, club chairman Mike Beckett, in Oxford on Sunday as he twice danced his way through the Wasps’ academy players an age group above England’s youngsters to play an eye-catching role in the 29-5 win.
The Great Tey resident, playing in the development match from which the selectors choose the squad to face Italy and Wales next month, said: “I can’t wait but I am nervous.
“The game against Wasps was pretty incredible. I got a lot of ball and made every opportunity count.”
The Sudbury Under-16s player, also part of Premiership giants Northampton Siants’ junior academy, scored in both the first half and second half, and almost clinched his first national hat-trick.
Beckett said: “I was close to getting a third. I took one step inside, but then I slipped.
“The whole game went better than I expected and one of my targets had been to score one try so to get double was brilliant.”
Beckett is the first Sudbury player to play for his full national age group side since fellow St Josephs Colleges pupil Gabriel Carroll in early 2010.
While he was playing for England, Beckett’s Sudbury youth side lost their decider of the Suffolk Cup at Colchester, 30-5.
“Obviously I wanted to be there but they were all really happy for me to go off and play for England,” said Beckett.
The first team, who return to league action on Saturday with a trip to South Woodham Ferrers (3pm), had to call off their cup game at Whittome Field with Colchester at the weekend, a decision chairman Mike Beckett said could not have been avoided.
“We had injuries to players in our front row and didn’t have enough to put together a complete front row,” he said.
The decision was made on Friday afternoon and comes after a season that has been hampered by injuries for Scott Harries and Lee Cooper’s side, leaving them just 10 points above the relegation zone in London Three North East with three matches to play.
But Beckett said Colchester did not kick up a fuss about the situation, with a new date for the game yet to be announced.
“They are a rugby club the same as us and understand the situation,” he said. “They have a lot more strength in depth in their squad this problem but they were very understanding.”
n Meanwhile, Hadleigh are gunning for the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties League Division Two title, with the Layham Road side currently level on points with leaders Thurston with three matches to play, including a mouthwatering fixture at home to Thurston next Saturday.
This week they face an away game at Mildenhall Eagles (3pm) after not playing last Saturday.