A Market Rasen teenager has been ranked as one of the top 100 rugby players in the country for his age group.
And as such, Zak Poole has made it in to the Under 16 England Midlands squad.
His first game, playing at number 8, was on Sunday, helping the team to a 28:12 victory over the South-West squad.
Now he has also been offered a placement at the Leicester Tiger’s Academy, where he will train and study for two years, with the aim of becoming a professional rugby player.
“It’s just brilliant,” said the 16-year-old who has been playing rugby for 11 years.
“To train to be a professional rugby player is what I have always wanted and I have worked so hard to get there.”
Zak, who has played for the Market Rasen Club since U10s and also plays for the De Aston team, joins the academy in July.
And he will study for three A-levels, alongside two rugby training sessions every day.
“Zak’s progress is in no small part the product of fantastic partnership between De Aston School and Market Rasen Rugby Club,” said Huw Williams head of PE at De Aston.
“The partnership is not only demonstrated through the sharing of facilities, but also via the systematic approach to rugby, whereby players can enjoy rugby at school before following a potentially lifelong pathway of enjoyment of the game through the rugby club.
“Over 80 current De Aston pupils currently attend Market Rasen and Louth RUFC.
“Players like Zak who show exceptional talent have access through the club to high quality coaching and facilities, in turn enabling them to access a higher level of play.
“The school and club currently have other pupils seeking to follow in Zak’s footsteps and we hope that Zak will be the first of many success stories.”
“Zak is a multi-talented student who has combined academic progress with excelling in his chosen sport,” added Kerry Rivett, head of year 11.
“Zak is a highly valued Year 11 student and member of the De Aston community, who can go on to achieve great things.
“We wish Zak every success for his academic and sporting future.”