ENGLAND may be currently savouring the glow of another Calcutta Cup conquest over Scotland, but one talented Leeds Carnegie starlet is especially keen to ensure another unsuccessful border raid later this month.
Namely, England Under-18 skipper Dominic Barrow, who leads out his country in their Six Nations date with destiny with their foes over the border at a place he knows well – Headingley Carnegie – on Sunday week.
Highly-rated back row Barrow, currently dual registered with Carnegie and National One outfit Otley, will not be short of support when he strides out in his home county, with club mate Marcus Webber accompanying him onto the turf.
Relishing the encounter, strapping 6ft 6in back row Barrow, who made his senior Leeds bow in the LV=Cup clash with Scarlets in West Wales in November – when Neil Back fielded a fledgling XV line-up who showed plenty of promise – said: “It should be a good game against Scotland. They have got a good pack this year, so we know they will be tough up front.
“We are coming off the back of a very good win over Italy at Sale, so it sets it up for a great encounter.
“Having beaten Italy, we know that if we can beat Scotland, we will go through to the semi-final and hopefully the final in France later on in the year, so there’s plenty of motivation for us.”
It’s currently a busy time for Sheffield-born Barrow, currently fitting in A levels at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley with his burgeoning rugby career, which has already seen him sample several exhilarating international highs.
An early try in a dramatic 30-28 victory over England Under-18s over Australia at Sale towards the end of 2009 takes pride of place, closely followed by another score in the 33-16 win over France at Newbury three months later, with Barrow a regular throughout a busy 2010 with England, which also saw him lock horns with sides from Italy, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and South Africa.
Shortly after his maiden first-team appearance at Scarlets, Barrow headed across the Irish Sea to crown a vintage year by leading England to a 29-12 success against Ireland at Donnybrook – and he is hoping to claim more stellar highlights this year.
Next month, England will take part in the Under-18 European Championships in France, with the recognised Six Nations sides battling it out for supremacy with their fellow continental rivals.
Meanwhile, after seeing several of his contemporaries break through on the first-team scene at Carnegie, Barrow – who lists Lawrence Dallaglio and Paul O’Connell as his rugby heroes, has plenty more to aim at, rugby wise, on the domestic front in what is set to be another hectic and potentially key year at club level.
Barrow, who has also captained England Under-16s and is an accomplished sportsman – excelling at football, cross-country and lacrosse to name but three other sporting pursuits – said: “I’m really enjoying it at Leeds and Otley this season.
“Everyone knows how good the academy is (at Leeds) and how many opportunities the academy lads do get.
“It’s a brilliant place to be and I am enjoying the opportunities I am getting here. You only need to look at people like Calum Clark and Jacob Rowan, who have both played for England Under-18s before going onto play in the Premiership to see that the chances are there.
“Hopefully, I can follow in their footsteps.”