A STUDENT who is a rugby scholar has been named among England Students' training squad for two forthcoming internationals.
Connor Wilkinson, who is in his first year of a Physiology degree at Manchester Metropolitan University, is one of 42 players called up ahead of a pair of April fixtures against Ireland Universities and French Students.
The Preston-born star plays centre or stand-off for the University's rugby union first team and has previously turned out for his home county, Lancashire.
He has tasted international rugby before, being capped by the England Counties under-20s team on a tour to Russia, and was recently brought in alongside three teammates to the England Universities 7s squad - on which Manchester Metropolitan was the best represented university.
Rugby coach and MMU Sport’s Rugby Development Officer, Rob Jones, is delighted with Connor’s success.
He said: “It’s brilliant to see Connor’s ability recognised at such a high level and his success reflects the growth of our rugby offer at MMU Sport.
“Connor is a product of the Sale Sharks’ youth system and renowned rugby school Kirkham Grammar.
"Our partnership with Sale Sharks Academy allow talented athletes like Connor to realise their potential, athletically and academically.
“Connor's dedication to both rugby practice and conditioning is exceptional, he is a perfect role model in how to be a performance athlete.”
The training squad will assemble in Coventry on Sunday before kicking off against the Irish visitors on Sunday April 2 in Oxford and the French Students in Bristol the following Friday.
Connor's success follows that of the University's rival code Rugby League Scholar, Dom Bryan, who was named among England's training squad for the 2017 University Rugby League World Cup last month.
Manchester Metropolitan University is one of the most extensive higher education centres in Europe with 37,000 students and more than 1,000 undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses. The University educates and trains large numbers of legal and business professionals, scientists, engineers, teachers, health workers and creative professionals.
Manchester Met has invested £350 million in its estate and facilities during a ten-year plan to create a truly world-class campus in the heart of Manchester and in Cheshire.
The University is in the top three nationally for environmental sustainability, in the top 3% of global universities as ranked by the Times Higher Education and has an 85% research impact rated world-leading and internationally excellent.
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