Rory Brand made his England U20 debut against Italy in the 2017 Six Nations.
He studied for A-levels in history, politics and PE and before leaving Wellington College signed a professional contract for London Irish.
He had already been the first recipient of the Jimmy Higham Scholarship. Jimmy, like Rory, was a student at Standish High School in Wigan before becoming a PE teacher at Wellington but he died from prostate cancer in 2011, aged 27. Colin, Jimmy’s dad, said that Rory, then 16, was a worthy recipient of the bursary award.
Rory, who has appeared for Fylde, made his England U18 debut off the bench in the 21-5 win over France at Doncaster in February 2015, having played for Lancashire U15, U16, the North U16 and England U17.
He started playing rugby when six at Melrose RFC and became a member of Sale Sharks Junior Academy (2013/15). This was after he had rugby league experience with Wigan St Cuthberts and was briefly on the Salford City Reds Scholarship scheme. He also spent a season with Wigan RUFC and helped his age group to win the Lancashire Plate in 2012/13.
Schooled at Galashiels Academy, he grew up as a season ticket holder for the now defunct Border Reivers when they played home matches at Gala. He joined the London Irish Academy last season and he played for them in his most memorable matches so far in the Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens at a packed Kingsholm. He also helped the Irish to beat Gloucester 35-11 in the U18 Premiership final in February.
Rory switched to scrum half from wing/centre two years ago and his favourite player is Aaron Smith, the All Blacks No.9 because of his clinical and composed attitude. His own rugby mentors, past and present, are Jason Duffy at Sale Sharks, Wellington College’s Kevin Brennan and Paul Hodgson at London Irish.His personal aim is to make the ‘Brand name’ proud and to give something back to his dad and mum for their endless support. He added: “The feeling of brotherhood in the game also appeals to me.”
2017 I (R)
2015 F(R) 2016 F(R), S, I(R), S(R), W SA Tour: F, SA
Last updated: 17 January 2018