Taylor Prell headed off for international duty with the England under-18s after giving Wharfedale’s followers an exciting glimpse of his raw talent.
The 17-year-old Giggleswick School student, who is in Poland for his country’s opening match of the FIRA-AER Championship against Portugal tomorrow (noon), has had an eventful week.
He was due to be a replacement for the Foresters at Darlington Mowden Park last Friday when he received a call from coach Jon Feeley to tell him he was needed on the bench for the first team on Saturday.
Within hours he was promoted to the starting line-up after Nick Taylor, Christian Georgiou and Philip Woodhead all dropped out.
If he was nervous, the youngster didn’t show it and he marked his league debut with a stunning try.
“He’s a special talent,” said Feeley. “He has real pace and I told him not to be afraid to take people on.
“His try showed how good he is. He side-stepped three tacklers before rounding the full back.”
Feeley added: “Taylor isn’t going to be available too often so it is nice to use him when we can.
“He is a Gargrave boy who has come up through the ranks and it was great to see him and his older brother Josh playing without fear against a strong Doncaster side.”
Despite their 57-17 defeat, Wharfedale are now safe from relegation in SSE National League One as they look to end their worst-ever home run of six successive defeats when they take on much-improved Blackheath on Saturday.
With Taylor Prell on international duty and Christian Georgiou recalled by Leeds, the selectors have included three of their recent signings from Leeds Metropolitan University.
England Students centre Luke Peters starts, with prop Matthew Beesley and back-rower Jack Ramshaw on the bench.
Scrum half Woodhead has not recovered from a niggling heel injury, and prop Adam Howard starts in place of injured Jake Armstrong.
One familiar figure in the opposition ranks will be James Tincknell, who had two spells at The Avenue.
When Wharfedale won 23-20 at Blackheath before Christmas with a late Tom Barrett drop goal, the Londoners were in dire straits and struggling in the relegation zone.
Since then they have lost only three matches and now sit comfortably in eighth position, two places and three points ahead of Wharfedale.
Wharfedale: Dan Scarbrough; Scott Jordan, Luke Peters, Tom Davidson, Josh Prell; Tom Barrett, Matt Dudman; Chris Steel (capt), Luke Cole, Adam Howard, Richard Rhodes, Alex Powell, Josh Burridge, Aaron Myers, Rob Baldwin. Replacements: Matthew Beesley, Dan Stockdale, Jack Barnard, Jack Ramshaw, Jimmy Bullough