Filimoni (Fili) Savou, 17, Saracens academy player and former sports scholar at Terrington Hall School, has been selected for the U17 England rugby team following trials at Leeds University. He will play in the U17 international against France on Saturday 26 April at Broadstreet Rugby Club, Coventry.
Terrington Hall families turned out in force to support Savou when he attended the England U17 training and final selection weekend at Leeds earlier this month.
Around 40 talented U17 players drawn from a range of academy clubs including Exeter, Bath, Leicester Tigers, Wasps, Newcastle, Worcester and Saracens sought to impress selectors under the watchful eye of England rugby coach Stuart Lancaster.
It was an incredible experience competing at that level and I was thrilled to be told I had made the U17 England squad. To have been now selected for the team’s first international is a great honour.
The first Fijian to be awarded a scholarship to a British School, Savou took up his sports scholarship at Terrington in September 2010 and left Fiji in a blaze of national media publicity.
Terrington Hall headmaster Jon Glen recalls:
The media circus continued here when Fili arrived. When the interest became intrusive I took steps to protect him and it settled down. I was delighted when later in the year he came to the attention of Saracens and was selected for their U15s.
Quite apart from his considerable sporting talent in both rugby and athletics, Fili’s courtesy, modesty and sense of humour quickly established him as a highly popular member of the school. It is a very proud day to hear that he has made selection to the England U17 rugby team.
England’s U18s will be decided on in February 2015. For now, though, my focus is on the game against France.