Not many players have figured in every back-line position and also at hooker and open side flanker but Joseph Marchant has done just that. Winchester-born, he started playing for the city club when six and joined Harlequins mainly as a fly half or full back. He has now switched to centre, though wore the number 10 shirt when making a try-scoring England U18 debut against Scotland at Dalziel RFC in March 2014. A toe injury ruled him out of the England senior tour to Argentina this June.
Joe studied at Peter Symonds College, where he was captain of rugby. He took a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport, made his senior debut for Harlequins when starting against Newcastle Falcons in May last year. By the end of last season, Joe had made 29 Premiership appearances and scored five tries. He has also been on loan to London Scottish and his previous schooling was at Harestock and Henry Beaufort, both in Winchester.
He played for Winchester mini-juniors from 2002-12 and in 2013 for Symondians, a club founded in 2012 with a direct link to Peter Symonds College but not an exclusive old boys’ team. Joe has played for Hampshire U14-U18, London & SE U16 and England Colleges and has led Hampshire two seasons ago and Harlequins U18 throughout their 2013-14 league programme.
Joe won seven caps for England U18 and scored six tries in the U20 2015 Six Nations Championship, one each against Wales, Ireland and France and a dazzling hat trick against Italy when he was the BMW Man of the Match. His final, remarkable contribution to the tournament followed his catch and pirouette that brought a vital touchdown against France in the corner. It illustrated his aerial and spatial awareness and his fine sense of balance. Joe took his try tally at that level to ten with touchdowns against Italy and Australia and two against Ireland in the 2016 World Rugby Championship in Manchester. His performances oozed class throughout the tournament.
He has also won various individual rugby awards, has a black belt in Wada Ryu Karate (2011), represented Hampshire in the discus, shot put and hammer (2010-12) and was an English Schools finalist in gymnastics in 2010.
Mike, his father, has been coach and manager for Hampshire and at London Divisional level as well as liaison officer for international teams including Australia and South Africa. Joe said: “I most remember a one-to-one coaching session with Robbie Deans when he was Australia’s head coach and learning to understand the importance of box kicking in the game. I also enjoyed working with Newbury RFC, filming their games and putting together motivational videos for the club for two seasons. One day, I’d love to run out at Twickenham wearing an England shirt.” His mentors at Harlequins are George Lowe and Tom Williams and he most admires Brian O’Driscoll, Jonny Wilkinson and George Smith.
Last updated: 4 June 2017