Being a top contributor to Wellington College’s 22-18 win over Tonbridge that clinched the 2014/15 Daily Mail Schools Trophy was a sign of things to come for Matt Williams, who became a new member of the England U18 squad in 2016 and made his debut against France in February. During the college’s triumphant Trophy campaign they won 11 out of 13 matches.
Matt was in the England U17 training squad at the time and scored 17 tries for Wellington that season. He was chosen to play against France but suffered the major disappointment of withdrawing through injury. Appearances for England U16 against Wales and Scotland had illustrated the potential of the London Irish Academy member, who has also been part of the club’s A League squad.
He recently completed his fifth and final year at Wellington studying for A-levels in maths, economics and chemistry and in August 2015 played in the Singha Premiership Sevens for the Irish in a pool also involving Gloucester, Exeter Chiefs and Bath. Berkshire-born Matt began playing at Windsor RFC when he was six and so a long line of mentors began.
Neale Katz and Ollie Grant-Adamson were his first coaches there before Kevin Brennan and Steve Shortland helped to develop his skills at Wellington, together with London Irish pair Paul Hodgson and Declan Danaher.
A double winner of Daily Mail trophies and part of the Wellington team that lifted the Rosslyn Park Schools Sevens title last year, Matt also toured South Africa with his college but his most special experience was his England U16 debut on his home pitch, Bigside 1.
He has also played on the wing and at full back and admires Brian O’Driscoll and how he played the game with skill and understanding. He added: “I also think that Elliot Daly is a great player and someone that I look up to at the moment.”
2016 F SA Tour: F, SA 'A' (R), SA
Last updated: 23 May 2018