Being converted from full back to fly half last year suits Oxford-born Tom Parton, who said: “I like having more touches on the ball, putting people in space and creating opportunities for others. It has been a challenge but I love every minute of it.” That’s reflected by Jonny Wilkinson and Dan Carter being his favourite players.
Now a member of the London Irish senior squad, Tom was in the upper sixth at Wellington College where he studied for an International Baccalaureate Diploma. He had attended Oratory Prep School in Reading, where he first played the game but he had actually preferred football. He continued: “Andy, my father, played for Coventry, England Students, Harlequins and Northampton and is a huge mentor for me and is always first to give me feedback straight after games.”
His school coaches Kevin Brennan and Steve Shortland are guiding lights and Chris Winterbottom, his prep school coach, focused on giving him the basic skills. Tom’s mum Clare, a former England U21 hockey player, deserves a special word. Tom said: “She has been great whether it’s doing the dull jobs such as transport or food preparation and never complains.”
He has captained the U18 Academy side against Exeter Chiefs, has represented England U 17 and was Wellington’s vice-captain last season and players’ player of the year. Tom has been a member of winning Daily Mail Cup sides twice and shared in two Rosslyn Park Schools National Sevens triumphs and a Surrey Sevens success.
His most memorable match was for Wellington against Sedbergh. His team lost 37-34 but the intensity and physicality of the game that went down to the wire has left a strong impression. So did tours with his school team to New Zealand in 2013 and South Africa in 2015. He added: “Both trips were unbelievable. Outside the game, my targets are to gain a business and management degree at a top university such as Bath or Edinburgh.
“After achieving this I’d like to work for a firm such as Nike, Mars etc and inside the game I want to appear in first team matches in the not-too-distant future. That’s as well as playing as many games as possible for the England U18 team.” He did exactly that last year - figuring in all nine before starting the opening U20 matches in the 2017 Six Nations against France and Wales. He scored tries against Italy in the 64th and 80th minutes at Darlington and started all five matches at full back in the World U20 Championship in Georgia in June.
15 points – 3T
2017 F, W, S, I World Championship – Sam, W, A, SA, NZ
7 points – 1T, 1C
2016 F(R), S, W, I, S, W SA Tour: F, SA 'A', SA
Last updated: 19 June 2017