A YORK student has been named as one of the top 15 rugby union prospects in the country for the 2020/21 season.

Oliver Tomalin, an Upper Sixth pupil at St Peter’s School, has been named on the esteemed ‘Top 15 Prospects’ list for under-18s players, as selected by NextGenXV, who cover and promote schoolboy rugby union across the world.

Tomalin was originally placed in the Top 100 and then gained a place in the top 15, which was announced by NextGenXV late last month.

NextGenXV describe Tomalin as a fantastic and versatile player with a range of skills who “will certainly be in high demand among top teams next year”.

They added: “St Peter’s has been a growing force on the schoolboy rugby front for the last four or five years now, but Olly Tomalin is probably the best player to come out of the school in that period.

“St Peter’s can be proud of producing a player of this quality.”

Part of the Yorkshire Carnegie Academy, Tomalin has enjoyed several successes over the last 12 months, despite the restrictions imposed by lockdown.

In April, he was selected for NextGenXV’s ‘Schools Rugby Dream Team’ following an online public vote and in October he was called up by the England rugby union team to participate in one of two half-term U18 Development camps.

Speaking of his achievements, Tomalin said: “I can’t believe that I’ve been chosen as one of the top 15 and it’s great to be recognised.

“I’ve been extremely lucky during lockdown and I’ve still been able to train once a week at Yorkshire on Mondays.

“The rest of my week usually consists of going to the little garage gym we have set up at home for an hour or so after school every day.

“Doing weights, runs and drills such as skipping helps to improve my agility.”

He added: “I’ve also been joining in with Mr Patterson’s live strength and conditioning sessions on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes which have been really helpful as well.”

Steve Williams, director of sport at St Peter’s School, hailed Tomalin’s work ethic.

He said: “This is an outstanding accolade made even more remarkable given there has been no rugby played this season.

“It is testament not only to Olly’s talent but also to his hard work.

“We look forward to following his progress in the future.”

Jeremy Walker, head teacher of St Peter’s School, paid tribute to Tomalin in his role as deputy head.

“We are hugely proud of Olly and this is great recognition of his performance and potential,” he said.

“Alongside his talent as a rugby player, Olly is tremendously hard-working and does a great job as deputy head of school.

“He gives willingly of his time to others and has done sterling work keeping pupils connected during lockdown.

“I look forward to seeing all the future holds in store for such a fine young man.”