Leicester Tigers forward George Martin’s rapid rise through the ranks continues after he was called up for the first time by England ahead of their Guinness Six Nations contest with Wales.
The 19-year-old lock, who was originally included in Eddie Jones’ shadow squad for the Championship, replaces the injured Jack Willis, who could be sidelined for the rest of the season, in the main 28-man group.
The flanker was stretchered off with a nasty-looking knee injury in England’s 41-18 Round 2 win over Italy and is still awaiting news from a specialist on the full extent of the damage.
Martin has made seven first-team appearances for the Tigers since signing his first professional contract with the club in July 2019 – having previously featured in back-to-back undefeated Under-18 Academy League title-winning campaigns.
He joins club teammates George Ford, Ellis Genge and Ben Youngs in the national team ranks and his club boss Steve Borthwick has expressed his pride at seeing the young talent make his first steps into the world of international rugby.
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“We are all very proud of George and excited for him, like we are whenever a Tigers player is named in a national squad and especially when you see a local Leicester player who has come through the club’s academy programme,” said Borthwick.
“To be called in to a national squad at his age, with only seven appearances for Tigers, is a tremendous achievement for George and all those who have been part of his career to date.
“At only 19, George has a lot of rugby ahead of him and it is exciting to think about the development ahead of him if he continues to work as hard as he has early on in his senior career.
“We know he will do us proud in camp, alongside George, Ben and Ellis, who I am sure will look after him, and we will all be watching on proudly for the remaining games in this year’s Guinness Six Nations.”
Martin will convene with the rest of the squad at The Lensbury as England begin their preparations ahead of their Round 3 trip to Cardiff to face unbeaten Wales at Principality Stadium on Saturday 27 February.