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Former Bishop’s Stortford colt Henry Walker named in Ireland squad for Under-20s Six Nations





A former Bishop’s Stortford colt has been selected by Ireland for the Under-20s Six Nations Championship.

Henry Walker, 18, was part of the brilliant Stortford colts squad in 2022 which won two league titles and lifted one county cup trophy.

Now the hooker’s form playing for Ulster has seen him rewarded by being picked for the national side at under-20 level - and the forward is a year younger than most of his team-mates.

Henry Walker with his mum Kerry
Henry Walker with his mum Kerry

Walker, who went to Bishop’s Stortford College and is from Little Canfield, said he was “very proud” to be chosen for the squad.

His mum Kerry added: “Henry has been on an amazing journey and to see his dedication take him to Ulster and now the Ireland under-20s [for the] Six Nations has made me and all the family so proud. We wish the team all the best and will be there every step of the way.

“We will never forget the support and friendship of everyone at Stortford rugby club where he started as such a young lad.”

Ireland get their campaign under way in France on Saturday February 3.

Walker’s stepdad Steve Hearn, who is part of the coaching staff at Silver Leys, said: “I am so proud of Henry and the courage he has had to follow his dream.

“Leaving to play at Hartpury in Gloucestershire at 16 was no easy feat, but his continued dedication and hard work are bearing fruit in his contract for Ulster and now being selected for Ireland under-20s.

“We are so proud of him and can’t wait to see him play in green again.”

Henry Walker, front row, eighth from the left with an arm round his left shoulder, during his Bishop's Stortford colts days
Henry Walker, front row, eighth from the left with an arm round his left shoulder, during his Bishop's Stortford colts days

Walker was on Saracens’ books for a while and qualifies to play for Ireland through his grandmother.

Hearn added: “His dream was to play for Ireland.

“He had a contract offer from Ulster rugby and moved to Belfast in July 2023, aged 18. He was picked in the Ireland under-19 squad and was then put forward for under-20s after one camp.

“Now he has made the Ireland Six Nations squad a year younger than most of his team-mates.”

Stortford colts head coach Dave Macfie said: “Henry’s selection for Ireland is a fantastic achievement. We are all very proud of him.

“That 2022 team was pretty special with many players doing well.

“Henry has worked so hard for this opportunity and really deserves his chance on the international stage.”

In addition to Walker from the 2022 squad, Oscar Wilson has played for Saracens and last week Murray Davidson made his debut for Stortford’s first team.

And several of the players are now regulars in the Blues, Stortford’s second-string.



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