Chichester’s Charlie key to England’s bid for world glory

Charlie Matthews, from Chichester, England under-20s
Charlie Matthews, from Chichester, England under-20s
Reuben Knight finds space to run in one of Havant's nine tries. Picture: Neil Marshall (180422-190)

Knight: We’ll be back

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CHARLIE MATTHEWS bids to put England on the first step to world glory tonight.

While Martin Johnson’s senior side have to wait until September to go for the Webb Ellis Cup, Matthews is part of the England under-20 team competing at the IRB Junior World Championship in Italy.

England start their campaign against Ireland this evening (5.10pm, Sky Sports 4) in Treviso.

And Chichester ace Matthews will be key to their hopes of bringing home the trophy.

The 19-year-old, who can play at lock or flanker, has been an integral part of the side since making his debut for England under-20s in February 2010 against Wales, when his side won 41-14.

Before that, Matthews featured for England under-18s, scoring a try on his debut in a 63-0 whipping of Scotland in March 2009.

The 6ft 8in forward plays his club rugby for Harlequins, making his first appearance for the Aviva Premiership side back in November 2009 at the age of just 18.

Exceptionally agile in the line out, he spent part of his junior years turning out for Chichester RFC and is currently studying sports management at Loughborough University.

Matthews’ father, Stephen, also played at a high level for London Irish and Esher, and is a former junior coach at Chichester.

After taking on Ireland in their opener, Matthews’ young England team play Scotland on Tuesday, June 14, before aiming to cement a spot in the semi-finals when they face South Africa in their final pool C match on Saturday, June 18, in Padova.