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Young Gun: Marcus Street – England U20s prop

Marcus Street is still only 18 and making his Exeter and U20s debut by February already made for a successful season – so to play in the World Rugby U20s Championship is a bonus he was not expecting.

The Exeter tighthead started the season in the U18s squad but injuries forced Dean Ryan to call him up during the Six Nations.

His impact was instant and, after helping England U18s win the International Series in Wales over Easter, he was included in the squad for the Junior World Cup in Georgia despite being two-years young.

But again the 6ft 18st 1lb powerhouse didn’t let it faze him and two tries in three pool games later he has established himself as the starting tighthead.

“I didn’t know I’d made the squad for the World Cup until I got a text from one of the coaches to let me know,” he told The Rugby Paper.

“I was happy after the Six Nations where I played against Scotland and Italy and the U18s tournament went great too. But it’s pretty cool to be in the U20s despite being so young.

“I learnt so much from being around older players. The biggest thing for me was in terms of leadership with guys like Zach Mercer, Max Malins or Josh Caulfield. I just watch how they do things and I then try to take it with me when I got back with the U18s.

“You can definitely feel the step up in terms of physicality at U20s level. You can quickly tell some of the looseheads I face are training full-time while I’m still at college.

“But if anything it’s a great challenge and I feel like I’ve grown into it. We have some big matches coming up but the scrum has been going really well so far in the tournament.”

Street’s debut for the Chiefs came against the Cardiff Blues in the Anglo-Welsh Cup back in November and although he still has one more year at Exeter College he is looking forward to pushing on at club level under the tutelage of Alec Hepburn.

He added: “It was quite a challenge to keep up with my school work this year but the college have been great.   It was tempting to let the standards slip a bit while I was enjoying such a good season but they made sure I found the right balance.

“I’ve got to finish my course next year but I’ll be spending a lot more time with Exeter to try to keep it up and maybe one day realise my dream of playing in the Premiership.

“The first team players are really good to help the youngsters out and Alec has been my mentor. We go through my games together and because he’s a loosehead he can give me pointers of what I should be trying to do to my opposite man.

“He’s very good in the loose which is the biggest thing I need to improve on. Scrummaging is crucial for me but I’d like to become more involved with the ball carrying.

“We’re pretty much training like professionals in Georgia right now. It’s a good experience to have so at least I won’t be too surprised next season. I can’t wait.”

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