- Jonathan Joseph and Huw Jones were at school together
- The two centres will face each other in the Calcutta Cup
- Find out the full England team to face Scotland here
If Jonathan Joseph and Scotland's Huw Jones catch each other's eyes on Saturday as they prepare to play in the 124th Calcutta Cup, they may well think back to the last time they shared the same pitch.
It has been eight years since the pair, who both line up at outside centre, were playing for Millfield School in Somerset.
Joseph left two years before Jones and they have had contrasting journeys ever since.
While Joseph quickly established himself at London Irish and then Bath before amassing 31 international caps, Jones has been on slightly more unconventional route.
"When he joined the sixth-form he played in the our third fifteen"
The Scottish-born 23-year-old moved to South Africa after leaving school, excelling for the University of Cape Town which led to a call up from the Stormers and subsequently Scotland.
The paths of their professional careers follow similarly different routes through school rugby.
Lucky number 13
“You never would have bet that either of them would have been future stars,” says Millfield’s director of rugby John Mallett, who was capped for England against Samoa in 1995 and coached both boys.
“They had very different journeys here. Jones was with us all the way through the age groups. He was desperately passionate about his rugby but got frustrated that he wasn’t getting into the top teams.
“When he joined the sixth-form he played in the our third fifteen but then over those two years he took off and became really impressive. He was a real late developer.”
Joseph on the other hand had quite a different experience.
“JJ joined us as a 16-year-old and was already a decent player but he was perhaps a bit slow to grasp our way of playing.
"He then played a bit of sevens and the way he developed over the first year was rapid.”
Joseph featured in a senior team that included England teammate Mako Vunipola as well as England Sevens star Ollie Lindsay-Hague, Bath’s Henry Thomas and Leinster’s Rhys Ruddock.
“Somehow that team managed to lose a few games. They were packed with superstars but JJ stood out.”
The two pupils were part of the same training squad under Mallett, who says Jones and his teammates aspired to Joseph’s team of future superstars.
“Huw was seeing JJ and his team play and would have been inspired by them. We used to train them together to help develop our younger players and it’s great to see them doing things for their country that they showed the potential of being capable of at Millfield."We taught them to enjoy their rugby and play with freedom and they are both doing just that."
“The great thing about them both is that they worked hard to get where they are now. It shows that you can be a late developer and still make it.”
It isn’t rare for Mallett to turn on the TV to watch rugby and see several of his former pupils playing but this Saturday will be particularly special for both him and the school.
“It will be a very special day. To have them face each other in the same position is brilliant and it makes us proud to see the impact they have on both their teams.
"We taught them to enjoy their rugby and play with freedom and they are both doing just that.”
From the playing fields of Somerset to the home of English rugby at Twickenham, it has been quite a journey for both players and regardless of result, there will be one school 120 miles away that will be celebrating regardless.