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Former Bishop’s Stortford colt Henry Walker praised after helping Ireland beat France in Under-20s Six Nations

Henry Walker enjoyed a dream debut for Ireland when they triumphed at hot favourites France in the opening round of the Under-20s Six Nations Championship on Saturday (February 3).

The former Bishop’s Stortford colt, 18, came on as a replacement hooker in the 62nd minute to help his team secure a dramatic 37-31 bonus-point win.

He was supported by mum Kerry, stepdad Steve Hearn and 21-year-old brother Oliver who travelled down to Aix-en-Provence to watch the historic victory.

Henry Walker with, from left, brother Oliver, stepdad Steve Hearn and mum Kerry
Henry Walker with, from left, brother Oliver, stepdad Steve Hearn and mum Kerry

Kerry said: “It was an amazing weekend. To watch Henry run on to the pitch was such an incredible moment.”

Walker, who is from Little Canfield and went to Bishop’s Stortford College, qualifies to play for Ireland through his grandmother.

“He did very well when he came on with a couple of very powerful carries,” said stepdad Steve, who is part of the coaching staff at Silver Leys.

“France are such a strong team so to win away from home really is a great achievement.”

Walker was part of the successful 2022 Stortford colts squad which won the A and B league titles.

Stortford colts coach Dave Macfie said: “It’s another step in Henry’s journey and what a remarkable achievement.

“The 2022 colts side was a pretty special group and I’m sure more of them will go on to enjoy success.”

Ireland are back in action on Friday (February 9) when they entertain Italy.

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