Harlequins add Wellington College, Epsom College, & Trinity pupils to Senior Academy

Harlequins have announced today that Sam Aspland-Robinson, Mofe Wilkey, and Archie White will be on full time Academy contracts next season.

All three players have been part of the England U18 set up this season and have enjoyed hugely successful schools careers of late.

Wing/full back Aspland-Robinson is part of the Wellington College 1st XV that has been simply superb over the last two years, in the 2013/14 season they were among the best in both the fifteen-a-side game and the seven-a-side game, this year they have a strong case for being the very best in each field.

Before Christmas Aspland-Robinson was key to Wellington College secured in the Daily Mail Trophy title, whilst also playing for the Harlequins U18 side and also appearing for Harlequins A in the Aviva A League.

He was then central to an all-conquering 7s season, using his World Club 7s experience with Quins to good effect, in which Wellington did not lose a single game as they won six tournaments including the HSBC Rosslyn Park National School 7s, which he unfortunately missed due to the Rugby Europe U18 European Championships with England.

Prop Wilkey is a Trinity School pupil, his side have been one of the very best around this season and would have been gaining some real national coverage but for having been drawn in the NatWest Cup against the triple champions Dulwich College, who also went on to reach the final this year.

Having been a key player for his school side, he will likely relish learning under the tutelage of the likes of Joe Marler, and indeed the former Dulwich College prop Josh Ibuanokpe, who joined the Academy last season.

Archie White captained both his school, Epsom College, and Harlequins U18 this season, showing just the type of character that Quins are securing. White can play across the back row and was central to an unbeaten 2013/14 season for Epsom College, an achievement that they almost matched again this year.

With a number of impressive young back rows already at Quins, Jack Clifford, James Chisholm, and Henry Cheeseman to name just three, White faces competition, but such is his quality, versatility, and leadership that you suspect he will relish the challenge. At 107kg and only 17 years of age, he certainly won’t be out of his depth physically.

Harlequins Academy Manager Tony Diprose expressed his admiration for the work the three players have put in, saying:

“It is hugely pleasing to welcome Sam, Mofe and Archie into our full time Academy group next season.  All three of the boys have worked extremely hard within the EPDG and they deserve the opportunity to follow the same pathway successfully undertaken by England captain Chris Robshaw and Harlequins Club Captain Joe Marler; we look forward to helping them achieve their potential.”

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