JAMES CHISHOLM is looking forward to running out at the American Express Community Stadium when England’s under-20 rugby team meet France in the Six Nations next month.
The Harlequins back row, who played for Haywards Heath aged from six to 16, and was on loan to Worthing Raiders last season, will be part of the England squad who take on France on Friday, March 20 (7.55pm).
England have played two matches in this year’s competition, losing 21-15 to Wales, before a comprehensive 61-0 win against Italy.
Chisholm, 19, who was a student at Brighton College, cannot wait for the game - the last of this year’s Six Nations - and to return to his home county to play competitive rugby.
He said: “Obviously, being from Sussex, I can’t wait to get out on the pitch and play.
“It will be like a home match for me and it will be great to play in such an impressive arena.
“I’ve played at Twickenham, which is a magnificent stadium, but this would be, in capacity, the second largest stadium I have played at.
“A lot of the side will not have played at a venue such as this so, as a squad, we feel it will be the perfect way to bring the curtain down on this year’s Six Nations campaign.
“I think all of the guys will be more excited and enthusiastic to play their rugby in front of a crowd, which could be 10,000 or greater.”
It has been an impressive season for Chisholm, as he has made a breakthrough with his club side, Harlequins.
The back row talent has made six appearances and touched down two tries and he said: “It’s been a really good season for me at the club. I’ve managed to touch down a couple of tries and make a few first-team appearances, which is always good.
“I feel the under-20 matches give me a great opportunity to develop as a player and that will only help me as I try to gain a regular starting berth at Quins.”
Chisholm spent last season on loan at Raiders, when the club were playing in National 1.
Despite the side being relegated, Chisholm felt his time at Roundstone Lane gave him valuable game time.
He said: “I really enjoyed my time down at Raiders, it was just a shame that we couldn’t bag as many wins as I would have liked.
“I knew Kieron Dawson from Brighton College as he coached there. He is a great guy and was a great player but injuries hampered his career.
“It gave me a good chance to play regularly against some really skilful and physical players.
“I am still in touch with Kieron and with Nick Buoy, it’s a nice club with some great guys.”