Northampton Saints rugby union flanker, Lewis Ludlam, an old boy (‘Old Birkfeldian’) of St Joseph’s College, has been selected for England’s 31-man Rugby World Cup squad.
Ludlam, aged 23, was among the 35 players in Eddie Jones’ training group, which travelled out to Treviso in Italy last month. Now, just a day after he earned his first England cap playing in the Rugby World Cup warm up game against Wales, he will be flying out to Japan for the main tournament, which kicks off on 20 September.
Celebrating the success Ludlam is enjoying, Mrs Clarke, St Joseph’s College Principal, said: ‘We were absolutely delighted to learn today that Lewis will be joining the Rugby World Cup squad this year. The entire St Joseph’s College community will be behind him, bringing an extra special dimension to our enjoyment of the tournament.
‘Lewis is the first of our Old Birkfeldians to earn a cap for the full international XV and we are all incredibly proud of the accomplished player he has become.’
Mrs Clarke continued: ‘The World Cup Quarter Finals will be played during the same weekend as the annual St Joseph’s College National Schools Rugby Festival and we will be streaming the games live so the thousands of Festival visitors don’t miss out. The only down-side is that Lewis won’t be joining us, as he usually does, that weekend…however, we absolutely understand he will be committed elsewhere!
‘Lewis maintains a regular presence at the College, inspiring our young players – from the Prep School through to the Upper Sixth, whose number includes his sister, Safia, our head girl for the coming academic year.’
Ludlam was a part of the St Joseph’s College first XV for three years – from Year 11 to Upper Sixth – and, in 2013, he captained the team to victory in the College’s National Schools tournament.
Speaking about his selection for the England squad, Lewis’ mum, Dorinda Ludlam, said: ‘For Lewis, this really is a dream come true…he’s been working toward this since he first started playing when he was about ten years old and certainly since he gained his sports scholarship at St Joseph’s College. It really has been their faith in him, and the support of the whole community that have helped shape his career to this amazing moment.’
England’s first Rugby World Cup game will be against Tonga, at 11.15am on Sunday 22 September