England debut for Sale Sharks junior Rory Brand

Rory Brand

Rory Brand

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RUGBY union future star Rory Brand was capped in England under-18s 21-5 win over France last week at Castle Park, Doncaster.

The ex-Standish High pupil, 16, played just over 20 minutes as the replacement scrum half.

Brand, a Sale Sharks under-18s player, was the youngest in the squad and when he came on the job was to keep the ball tight with the forwards due to weather.

Shevington-based Brand is the inaugural Jimmy Higham Scholar at Wellington College.

Jimmy Higham was a teacher at the college before he unfortunately lost his battle with prostate cancer in 2011, aged just 26 – he also attended Standish High School.

Following Jimmy’s death, a bursary was set-up in his name and father Colin Higham was involved in the process of awarding Brand the scholarship.

He’s obviously a very talented individual

Colin Higham

“I have acted as chief scout, you could say. We were keen to find someone local as the first recipient and someone involved in rugby,” he said.

“I saw Rory’s name in the Lancashire squad this year and noticed he went to Standish High, like Jimmy.

“It’s brilliant we are able to award this to Rory, he’s a nice kid and from a hard-working family and he’s obviously a very talented individual.”

To add to his achievements, Brand also won the Daily Mail Schools Rugby Trophy 2014/15, which was presented to him last month by former England coach Sir Clive Woodward.