A CHANCE conversation in a pub led to Charlie Brown being selected for England’s under-18 rugby squad.
Charlie’s father Kevin was venting his fury at how his son had been treated when attempting to play junior football when a passer-by recommended he tried rugby.
And, nine years later, Charlie has earned his first international call-up.
“We’re all really proud of what Charlie has achieved and we’re obviously grateful for the gentleman in the pub,” said Kevin.
“We tried to get him into football and were told that unless he went in goal he couldn’t be a part of their team so we didn’t stay there long.
“I was having a moan about in a pub which was heard by someone else who told me rugby was completely different.
“He played for Southend’s seconds and told me to give Westcliff a try because he said they were better for youth rugby and that also impressed me.
“It’s all gone from there really and this call up is excellent news.”
Leigh-based Charlie, who plays as a tight-head prop, earned his selection by impressing at county level before also playing well for the London and South East divisional side in a busy weekend of fixtures against other regions played at Loughborough University.
As a result, the South Essex College student will now travel to France during the Easter break to take on both the hosts and Ireland in quick succession. However, Charlie’s Westcliff team-mate Billy Morrant just missed out on selection having also played for the London & SE side.