As a product of Cranleigh School in Surrey and Rosslyn Park RFC, Will Collier has followed famous players from those nurturing fields into an England representative shirt. He joined the Harlequins Academy in 2011, having begun with Park at the age of six and helped the club to win promotion to National One after his most memorable match in which they beat Loughborough Students in a play off in 2010.
His first senior appearance for Harlequins was against Wasps in the special LV=Cup game in Abu Dhabi in January 2011 and he has since played 106 times for the club, including 69 games in the Aviva Premiership. In January 2015, he signed a contract extension taking him to the summer of 2018. He had a two-month lay-off after undergoing an operation on a broken ankle in the 29-26 win over Sale Sharks last January.
Hammersmith-born Will initially attended the Hall School in Wimbledon but Tim McConnell-Wood, housemaster at Cranleigh and former Rosslyn Park player Chris Ritchie were his mentors along his pathway to Surrey U15 and U16, London U16 and U18 and to England teams at those two levels. He missed out on appearances for England Saxons against Ireland and Scotland in 2014 because of injury but played off the bench in the England XV’s 30-29 defeat by the Barbarians that June.
His debut for the national U20 side was in the starting line-up against Italy at Bath six years ago and he also played against France, Scotland and Ireland that winter before appearing against Scotland and France in the IRB Junior World Championship in June. Will’s seventh and last cap at that level was in the 33-22 defeat by New Zealand in the final at Padova.
Will captained Cranleigh at junior level, toured South Africa with Rosslyn Park U12 and went to Toulon with England U18. He said: “As well as the promotion winning match at Loughborough, a Cranleigh game played in heavy mud against Christchurch Boys, of New Zealand, stands out for me.”
Lawrence Dallaglio, Jason Leonard and the late Andy Ripley, Rosslyn Park through and through, are his stand out players. Will’s famous rugby forebear is Larry Webb, his grandfather, who appeared for the Barbarians, captained Bedford and won four caps for England at tight head prop in 1959.
Last updated: 20 April 2017