WOODHOUSE Grove pupil James Whitcombe will make his England under-16s debut against Wales at Bridgwater & Albion on Sunday (2.00).

The teenager follows in a fine family tradition of representative and international rugby as his dad Martin, who is director of rugby at Bradford & Bingley, played for England at under-19, under-23 and B level, also as a loose-head prop.

Whitcombe's grandad Frank junior propped for Bradford, Yorkshire and North Eastern Counties, while his great grandad Frank senior played rugby league for Bradford Northern and Great Britain.

On a Leicester Tigers Academy contract, Whitcombe – who has also played junior rugby union for Skipton and Bradford & Bingley and junior rugby league for Keighley Albion – has also represented Tigers at under-15, under-16 and under-18 level, as well as Yorkshire under-15s and Midlands under-16s.

Martin Whitcombe said: "We can't thank Keith Jones, Roger Howard, Anthony Sweeney and the staff at Woodhouse Grove School enough for their support."

Director of sport Howard added: "Combining skill and physical presence with a genuine love of the game, James has sacrificed a great deal to follow his dreams.

"It is really pleasing to see his hard work and application paying off. I feel also it is a real endorsement of our regime and culture here. He has benefited from a knowledgeable and supportive environment.

"We now have Joe Bedford seeking to develop on a platform built by Keith, then myself and latterly Anthony, and we have also recently appointed former Leicester, Saracens, Carnegie and Scotland lock Tom Ryder to our staff to supplement our offering."