Star of the Future: An Interview with Callum Watson

One of five new additions to the London Irish Academy this season and the younger brother of Marcus and Anthony Watson, Callum has already made his Premiership debut for the Exiles last season aged just 17. Another impressive achievement for the youngster is his inclusion in the England Rugby 7s team for the upcoming Commonwealth Youth Games.

The England u17 scrum half joins the senior academy at an exciting time for London Irish with the arrival of new head coach Tom Coventry and 11 new players. Watson says, “ I am really looking forward to training with the new signings, particularly someone like Brendan McKibbin as he is an experienced scrum half that I can learn an awful lot from.”

Callum Watson’s talent was first spotted by his school coach, Mark Crean, whom Watson credits with having the greatest influence on his career thus far as he explains, “he had the confidence to start me in 1st XV rugby whilst I was still in year 11 and I feel that this has really developed me as a player and a person. He’s always strived to help me improve as a player and see me succeed and for that I owe him a lot.”

Still developing, Watson has targeted improving his ”core skills”, throughout this season, focusing on his passing and box-kicking as well as his communication. Another major goal is to get regular game time at his loan club, Esher in National 1, as Watson explains, “ I feel that frequent men’s rugby will really help me develop as a player in all areas and will be looking to make the most of it. Hopefully this will go a long way to helping me feature for London Irish in the future.”

The youngest Watson has already seen his two older brothers play for London Irish although they have both since moved on- Marcus to the England Sevens and now Newcastle, while Anthony’s career has flourished after his move to Bath winning 9 caps for England. Inevitably, these accomplishments have motivated Callum as he tells us, “My brothers’ success has always inspired me and obviously it is something I wish to emulate. However, I am focused on my own game and development as a player. Having two brothers who are professionals has always been beneficial to me as they are always there to support me and offer advice and feedback whenever I need it.”