For most players their professional 1st XV debut comes in a minor cup game or off the bench in a league game of more minor importance, for Warwickâ€™s Jamie Shillcock it came in the semi final of the Greene King IPA Championship play-offs.
The Warwick School youngster, who has won the U15 NatWest Cup and appeared in the U18 NatWest Cup final, recently played for the England U18 Counties side and the England U19s, but his step up to the Worcester Warriors matchday squad was arguably his biggest achievement of what has already been a superb 2015.
Shillcock came on for the final five minutes of the 28-15 victory over London Scottish at Sixways, which put Worcester into the Championship play off final against Bristol. With JB Bruzilier the only other fit scrum half in the Worcester squad, Shillcock will likely be involved in the final too.
Shillcock was informed of his selection by Warwick Director of Rugby Mark Nasey, who has led a succession of school teams to Twickenham at various age grades for NatWest Cup finals. Speaking of his selection, Shillcock said to the Worcester Warriors website:
“Getting the call-up to play for Warriors and to be involved in the match is something I will always remember and I’m incredibly grateful to the coaches for giving me the opportunity.â€
“It was brilliant to come on at the end. To be able to run out and get the reception I did from the crowd was really special and I really enjoyed it. I’m really excited about the next few weeks and I really hope I can be part of a squad which can win promotion to the Premiership.
“I would love to be in this environment full-time so my aim now is to work as hard as I can and impress the coaches.”
The man who was on the bench for the NatWest Cup final a year ago could well be on the bench in the Championship play off final next week.
How fast a star can rise.