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The Midlands England XV

Having already created a team based on players born and/or bred in the North of England, we now move our focus on to those individuals who come from the Midlands.

1) Alex Waller

Born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, the young English loosehead went through his club’s academy before going on to make over 150 appearances for his club. Many Saints fans argue he has been unlucky to have been overlooked for England duties so far.

2) Harry Thacker

Born in Leicester and educated at Leicester Grammar School, Thacker follows in the footsteps of his father Troy Thacker, who was also a hooker for the Tigers.

3) Kieran Brookes

Born in Stone but spent much of his childhood in Eccleshall, Staffordshire, Brookes made a name for himself at Newcastle Falcons before heading to Leicester Tigers. With his move to Welford Road stalling his career somewhat, he returned to Newcastle – only to later for Northampton Saints.

4) Courtney Lawes

Although born in Hackney, Lawes spent most of his childhood in and around Northampton, attending Northampton School for Boys. His old club before Saints was Northampton Old Scouts.

5) Ed Slater

Another Leicester-born player, Slater began his career at Milton Keynes RFC before heading out to Australia to play for a club in Sydney. He later signed for Nottingham where his performances in the Championship earnt him a contract with the Tigers.

6) Tom Croft

Although born in Basingstoke, Croft was educated at Oakham School in Rutland.

7) Tom Wood

Wood was born in Coventry, first making a name for himself with Worcester Warriors. A product of Barkers Butts RFC, the hardworking flanker has gone on to represent his country on 42 occasions.

8) Jordan Crane

Bromsgrove-born Crane spent a couple of years up in Leeds before a decade becoming one of Leicester Tiger’s most consistent performers. As well as earning 3 England caps, the Midlander now plays his rugby for Bristol.

9) Dan Robson

Robson was born in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire but spent the early years of his professional career down in Gloucester. Since making a name for himself at Wasps he is now pushing for England honours and may well get his opportunity this Autumn.

10) Harry Mallinder

Okay, so Mallinder Jr didn’t move down to the Midlands until he was 11 because of his father’s work commitments, but the fly-half stock in the Midlands is somewhat sparse. Mallinder is unlucky not to have featured in any England squads this season after a fantastic year for the Saints previously.

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11) Alex Lewington

A tremendous season last year saw London Irish winger Lewington given a starting spot for the Saxons on their tour of South Africa in the summer. Nottingham-born Lewington should be given a lot of credit for sticking with the Reading-based club despite their relegation to the Championship.

12) Will Hurrell

Born in Leicester and spending some of his earlier career with Coventry and the Tigers, Bristol centre Hurrell is quickly making a name for himself as a Premiership player.

13) Jonathan Joseph

Derby-born Joseph has transformed himself into one of the leading centres in the world and is now one of the first names on the team sheet for England despite competition from Elliot Daly and others.

14) Paolo Odogwu

You’re going to be hearing a lot more about the young Sale winger, but Odogwu was born in Coventry and went to school in Birmingham and Leicester.

15) Chris Pennell

Born in Worcester, Pennell later moved to Northern Ireland before returning to the West Midlands to attend Old Swinford Hospital School in Stourbridge.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.