Pro deals for St Joe's pair
RUGBY UNION: Young England rugby stars James Dunne and Iyran Clunis could find themselves in opposition next season.The rising young talents, both A-level students at St Joseph's College, Ipswich, have been playing alongside each other for the college team.
YOUNG England rugby stars James Dunne and Iyran Clunis could find themselves in opposition next season.
The rising young talents, both A-level students at St Joseph's College, Ipswich, have been playing alongside each other for the college team.
But now both have signed for London-based professional clubs and could clash on the pitch next season.
The last time they were in opposing XVs was at an England U16s trial game.
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Hooker Iyran, from Stowmarket, has joined London Irish, while James Dunne, the college team captain, is joining Wasps.
Both have played for England teams recently and Clunis, who is slightly younger, has been called up for Under-19 squad training this summer.
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"I haven't heard all the details yet," he said, "but there is the possibility of going out to South Africa for warm weather training and playing one match against an Under-19 Springboks side. That would be fantastic."
Although he has no Irish connections he is pleased to be joining London Irish, who would support him during his university career.
"It is a great opportunity for me. I have signed a one-year contract.
"I will be studying sports science at St Mary's University, Twickenham.
"I'm working hard in the gym because I have got fitness testing on June 15 and I have still got A-level exams."
Dunne, who plays in the second row, has signed a three-year deal with Wasps and will follow a similar course of study.
He said: "It is a great chance to play rugby full-time and study. The club will support me while I am at university. I'm going to study sports science and rehabilitation.
"This is ideal. It has been my ambition for a long time and it is good it is finally beginning."
Tony Talbot, director of sport at St Joseph's College, said: "It is a great opportunity for them but they have already showed the character and determination to play for England at Under-16 and Under-18 level.
"They are a very good example to others. Both are individuals who are prepared to put in the extra work to push themselves on to the higher level.