Seaford College student Fergus Guiry will never forget the phone call he received earlier this year. It was from Simon Amor, the England Rugby 7s Head Coach, offering Fergus a one-year professional contract with the England 7s squad.
Fergus, who completed his A levels in the summer, was spotted by the England coaching team playing for Seaford College at the Rosslyn Park 7s tournament and they invited him to an England trial. After impressing at the trial, Fergus received the dream phone call offering him a contract, and he has now joined up with the full England squad and played in several tournaments.
“It is quite surreal how quickly everything has happened,” Fergus told us after hearing the news. “The England coaches watched me play for Seaford against Eton College at the Rosslyn Park 7s and they then spoke to my coaches here at Seaford College, Mr Bowden and Mr Lockyer, and said that I was on their radar. I was invited to an England 7s trial and then the phone call came saying I had been successful at the trial, and they offered me a contract.”
Fergus’ main priority since hearing the news was taking his A levels in PE, Psychology and Business Studies and achieved great results. “The England coaches told me to focus on my exams, which I did,” he said. “The contract started at the end of June but I had the opportunity to win my first England shirt in Moscow at the beginning of June before completing my A Levels. I played in all three games on the Saturday before being concussed against France, and I scored my first England try against Belgium.”
His dad, Andrew Guiry, added that Fergus has been busy over the summer. “At the beginning of July, Fergs won his 2nd England 7s shirt in Clermont, France, in the 3rd leg of the European Grand Prix series. He was then part of the Silver Medal winning England 7s squad in the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas in July, during which he captained the team in the Gold Medal Match against Samoa. He also captained England when they won Bronze at the European Under 18 7s Championships this month. We are very proud of him. He focused on his A levels first, and stayed very level headed about the whole thing, and now he can focus on this exciting opportunity.”
Ed Bowden, the Head of Rugby at Seaford College, says Fergus deserves his contract and that the whole school is very proud of him. “Fergus being awarded this contract is great for the school from a rugby point of view but he has also got things right in the classroom, which is very important. I am very proud of him and Fergus has worked very hard for this opportunity. As well as his rugby he has been a prefect this year and I know he will continue to be a very good ambassador for the school moving forward.”
So how does it feel, knowing you will be training and playing with players that you have watched on the television? Well, Fergus says he still cannot quite believe it. “I was looking on my phone the other day and I found a picture of me and a friend with Dan Norton at the Twickenham 7s. To think I am now training alongside him is quite surreal. You see all these big names on TV and to now be playing with them is awesome.”
As the significance of his achievement begins to sink in, Fergus was quick to pay tribute to the support he has received to help him get to the first stage of a professional rugby career. “I started at Chichester Rugby Club, and then moved to Worthing, and I came here to Seaford College in Year 12,” he said. “In my first year at Seaford the coaches really helped me mature as a player and helped me play a bigger leadership role. I am really grateful to everybody who has helped me get to this stage of my career and I could not have done it without them.”
Headmaster John Green added: “To be selected for England is a remarkable achievement. Fergus is an incredibly talented performer both academically and on the sports field. Indeed we are very proud of him and in many ways Fergus stands for all that we try to achieve at Seaford – personal bests both inside and outside of the classroom.”