Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Another Tait's on the Way Up for England

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Another Tait's on the Way Up for England

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Hedley

Alex Tait took another step towards emulating elder brother Mathew when he scored two of the England Under-18 side's seven tries in their 48-13 win over Scotland in the Home Unions Festival at Ebbw Vale.

The Barnard Castle and Durham County full-back aims to follow in the footsteps of Mathew, who was capped at Six Nations Championship level against Wales last month. Alex scored his two tries in the second half of a game England always controlled.

Joining Tait the younger in the England line-up were Tynedale's Hamish Smales, who is at Sedbergh School, along with Stuart Eborall, plus Tait's Falcons and Barnard Castle School team-mate Tim Visser.

Visser is from Holland and has played for them at Under-15 to Under-18 level but he qualified for England through being at school here and, if he stays, will become England qualified through residency.

The Falcons academy coaches John Fletcher and Peter Walton have converted him from a winger into a flanker and Fletcher said: "Tim is the best prospect I have ever seen in that position in my time here."

Visser was recently top scorer at the National Schools Sevens at Rosslyn Park as Barnard Castle were beaten 14-10 in the final by Wellington College.

Visser joined the Falcons academy programme this season after moving from his native Amsterdam and he scored a total of 14 tries in the competition.

Visser didn't get on the scoresheet in Ebbw Vale, but Tait's double was matched by England captain George Hughes. Joe Simpson, Mark Odejobi and Marcus Jackson also crossed.

Manager Ted Atkinson was pleased with the victory as a warm-up to their toughest test against defending champions Wales at Dunvant today (4.0).

"It was just what we wanted to put us on a high before playing Wales," said Atkinson. …

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