PANGBOURNE College pupil Fin Rossiter has been selected to start for England Under 16s in their international against Wales U16 this Sunday.

The Year 11 flanker, 16, from Upper Woolhampton beat hundreds of hopefuls representing all 14 RFU (Rugby Football Union) Regional Academies to earn his first England honour.

The 14 Regional Academies cover the country and each boast designated catchment areas to spot rugby’s very brightest prospects and place them on elite development pathways for the future.

College Head of Rugby Mr David Metcalfe said: “It is a phenomenal achievement for Fin.

"He has missed some of the season after breaking a bone in his foot, but he has worked hard and done extremely well to come back from that and now be selected for what is a fantastic honour.”

Fin said: “I was in disbelief when I discovered I had been selected. It has been my ambition to play for England as long as I can remember.

"To be picked above some of the other guys at the trials is quite something. It is, 100 per cent, the biggest accolade of my career so far.”

Chris Sutton, Fin’s College coach at U14 and U15 level and also his Housemaster, added: “Fin deserves his selection more than anyone. He has worked tirelessly to achieve this and is the ultimate role model for young players.

"He keeps a record of everything he does in training and everything he eats meticulously.

"He has an excellent understanding of the game and is a natural leader. He epitomises the Pangbournian spirit; I cannot praise him highly enough.”

Fin attended England U16 trials at this year’s BMW Festival from 10-15 April at Wellington College in Berkshire.

He is one of three representatives from his RFU Regional Academy London Irish in the full 23-strong squad for Sunday’s crunch contest at Bridgwater and Albion RFC in Somerset (2pm).

Fin joined the College in 2014 in Year 9 and 12 months later proudly captained the U15 team to victory in the Berkshire Cup Final at Maidenhead RFC.

He has previously captained England Lambs, who draw talent exclusively from independent schools, at U13 and U14 level.

Mr Metcalfe said: “Fin is a very talented young player. This weekend can be a terrific stepping stone for him to go onto even bigger and better things in the game.”

Mr Sutton said: “Fin is head and shoulders above any other player I have coached - and I have coached rugby for a long time. He is disciplined, his attitude is absolutely first-class and his skill level is very high.”

Fin added: “I have two more years left at Under 18 level. My aspiration definitely is to earn a professional contract with London Irish at the end of that.

“Pangbourne College has helped me hugely achieve my aim of playing for England, from using the gym to playing on our beautiful pitches and to the fantastic coaches here, particularly Mr Sutton, who has had the biggest influence on me.

"He is always prepared to do the little extra things to help me reach the next level.”

Fellow Pangbourne College student Alex Zenda, 18 and from Thatcham, has just returned from touring Canada and the USA with England Lambs at U18 level.