Millfield recent leaver Will Joseph from Newbury has been selected as one of only seven promising future stars for the 20-21 London Irish Senior Academy. Will follows in the footsteps of his brother, England and Bath Rugby centre Jonathan ‘JJ’ Joseph, who is also a former Millfield student, towards a career in professional rugby.
Outside centre Will has been involved in the programme since the Developing Player Programme age groups and last year toured South Africa with England U18s. Will also played in all the England U18 league matches, crossing for several tries.
Will says, “It’s been great to follow in my brother’s footsteps but also make my own path, and the strength of the Millfield Rugby programme has meant I have been able to do that. I can’t wait to continue my journey with London Irish and am looking forward to getting started with the senior academy.”
At Millfield, Will was part of the 2020 golden year with five international age grade rugby players in its first team; the last time this many internationals played for Millfield was 11 years ago, with Will’s brother Jonathan ‘JJ’ Joseph part of the original squad. Eighteen-year-old Will joined Millfield in 2015, and studied BTEC Sport and Media studies alongside his competitive school and club rugby commitments. Will’s announcement comes on the heels of teammate Ewan Richards’ selection for Bath Rugby’s academy earlier this summer.
Millfield’s Rugby programme is notable for producing athletes that go on to play professionally. Rugby Old Millfieldians include Chris Robshaw, Harlequins and former Captain for England; England prop, Mako Vunipola; Huw Jones and Adam Hastings, Glasgow and Scotland; and Gareth Edwards of Wales and The British Lions. The programme, which focusses on enjoyment and participation, includes at least three teams in each age group, with regular 15-a-side and sevens fixtures between September and March. At Millfield, Rugby is offered to girls as a MAP (Millfield Activity Programme) option and as a summer games option. Millfield’s Director of Rugby is ex-Bath and England player John Mallett, who is supported by a team of 18 coaches. In January 2019, Millfield appointed Mike Baxter (Bath and Scotland Sevens) as Assistant Director of Rugby.