Since taking up the game at Lymm RFC when five, Alex Mitchell graduated to the U18 squad at Sale Sharks Academy and made his England debut against Scotland at that level in March 2014. His first start was in the 62-5 win over Portugal in the subsequent FIRA/AER European Championship match at Poznan in Poland and his maiden try followed against France in March 2015 in the ninth appearance for he side.
Maidstone-born, he had moved to the north-west with his family and went on to captain Lymm HS and won Cheshire Cups with his school and club. Alex signed for Northampton Saints from Sale for the 2015/16 season and played in all the first four matches for England U20 in the 2017 Six Nations campaign before being an unused bench replacement in the final game against Ireland. Three months later, he scored tries against Samoa, Wales, South Africa and New Zealand in the World U20 Championship in Georgia.
Looking back, he had been the U16 player of the year at Lymm RFC and became the BMW Junior Player of the Season at the club in 2012-13. James, Alex’s brother, also a scrum half, appeared seven times for England U18 in 2013 and is now with Sale Sharks. Their father Glynn played for Blackheath and has coached Aylesford Bulls and Kent.
Alex, a former member of the Manchester United and Manchester City Football Academies, helped England U16 to beat Wales 32-26 at Iffley Road, Oxford in April 2013 and scored the try seven minutes from the end that put his side ahead for the first time. He also appeared at that level against Italy and has represented England U17. His memorable moments also include playing in a Daily Mail U15 quarter-final at Stowe School and the FIRA/AER final in Poland in April 2014. Alex’s downside in his developing career was nine months’ absence through injury.
His education began at St Wilfrid’s C of E Primary in Grappenhall, Cheshire and he went on to study maths, economics and physical education at Lymm High School. He deferred his studies at Loughborough. Alex’s mentors, past and present, are Len Davies, head of sport at his school, together with Lymm RFC coaches Steve Downes and Ian Johnson.
Alex said: “They have given me the best possible training. I would love to get involved in sevens and play at that level for England. I was an inside centre until I was 12 before my school coach Lee Pickles thought I would be better suited to scrum half. I have figured at No.10 and 15 in the U18 academy league. The players I really admire are Jonny Wilkinson and Will Genia.”
He likes playing golf and tennis and says that darts player Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor is a hero of his. West Ham United is Alex’s favourite football team and his proudest non-rugby achievement was the day he learned to cook pasta, though his top meal is a 99 cheeseburger.
Vietnam is his favourite place for a holiday and he is locked into ‘The Missing’, a psychological thriller. In his downtime, he plays the video game Pokemon Red.
20 points - 4T
2017: F, W(R), It, S(R) World Championship – Sam, W(R), A(R), SA, NZ(R)
5 points – 1T
2014 S(R) Europe: P, W(R), I(R) 2015 F, S(R), W Europe: P(R), F, It(R); SA Tour: F(R), SA ‘A’, SA(R)
Last updated: 19 June 2017