Piers Francis

From Starbucks barista to World Cup bolter

The World Cup bolter profited from Ben Te’o’s shock exclusion from Eddie Jones’ squad for Japan 2019 to claim one of the four centre spots, his ability to cover all three midfield positions adding to his value.

But prior to this summer’s series of warm-up matches, the little-heralded 29-year-old had won only four caps and three of those came as a replacement.

As a teenager he was cut from the Saracens academy, galvanising him to travel to New Zealand in the hope that the most thorough rugby education possible would realise his ambition of becoming a professional.