Schoolboy trio sign Academy contracts with Wasps

Wasps have confirmed that Conor Dolan, Owain James, and Jack Willis have signed Senior Academy contracts for the 2015/6 season.

Dolan was a key member of the all conquering Wellington College 1st VII this season, as well as the outside centre for their hugely successful fifteen-a-side season that saw them lift the Daily Mail Trophy before they embarked on that hugely successful run.

His performances were such that he also received England recognition, representing England U18 against France, adding to his U17 and U16 caps for his country. Dolan also captained the Wasps U18 side on a number of occasions this year in the u18 Premiership.

Owain James hails from Harrow, who have recently produced stars such as England number 8 Billy Vunipola, and the fastest rising star in the game, Saracens’ Maro Itoje.

James, like Dolan, has played for England U18 this year and has been a key player both for the Wasps U18 side and his Harrow School 1st XV. Signed as a full back, James is equally at home in the fly half shirt and will link well with Dolan.

Jack Willis moves from the Wasps AASE affiliated college, Henley College. The openside flanker was the Wasps U18 captain during the U18 Premiership campaign and will follow in the footsteps of other top young opensides to have progressed through the club, such as Tom Rees, Sam Smith, and England flanker James Haskell. Willis will compete in the Academy with England U20 openside Gus Jones, who is combining his academy work with his studies at Oxford University.

Wasps also announced the extension of a number of current academy contracts, including scrum half Tom Bliss, who played for the 1st XV this season.

Winger Tom Howe, fullback Piers O’Conor, prop Alex Lundberg, and Tom West have all signed extensions and are England U20 internationals. O;Conor and Lundberg will be on loan with Bedford Blues next year. Bliss meanwhile will be at Ealing Trailfinders, while Howe will play with Jersey. Tighthead Will Stuart has also signed an extension.

Speaking on the three new arrivals in the senior academy, Wasps Academy Manager Matt Davies said:

“In regard the three U18 players stepping up to the Senior Academy group, they have had different paths as they arrive at this point. Conor and Owain have been excellent throughout the U18 League, and the England U18 programmes, whilst Jack Willis has captained the Academy U18 team in outstanding fashion, and all three are thoroughly deserving of their opportunity.”

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