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Clubb locks in England win

PUBLISHED: 15:39 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 23 August 2010

A 22-YEAR-OLD Rugby League player celebrated his birthday in style by participating in England s 12-try demolition of France at the weekend. Tony Clubb, who was raised in Huntley Avenue, Gravesend, came on as a substitute to take part in England s crushi

A 22-YEAR-OLD Rugby League player celebrated his birthday in style by participating in England's 12-try demolition of France at the weekend.

Tony Clubb, who was raised in Huntley Avenue, Gravesend, came on as a substitute to take part in England's crushing 66-12 victory against France in Paris on Saturday - just one day after his birthday.

The Harlequins centre was making his second appearance for his country after being selected by England manager Tony Smith to be part of his World Cup squad last September.

His father Michael Clubb, 52, of Huntley Avenue, Gravesend, said: "He is 100 per cent committed to rugby. A couple of the players in the team said that Tony doesn't realise how good he is and that is why he trains so hard to improve his game.We are very proud of him and what he has achieved."

Clubb made his England debut against Wales in a warm-up match before the Rugby League World Cup kicked off last October. He scored a try in the game becoming the first ever debuting England player to score with his first touch.

After his first call up he told the Reporter: "I was shocked by the call up. I didn't know what to think but it is something every rugby player wants to do - play for your country at the highest level of the sport."

A former pupil at St George's School, Rochester Road, Gravesend, Clubb played for Gravesend Rugby Football Club as a youngster where he was part if the team that won the Under 17 Kent Cup and Under 19 England Rugby League Trophy. In 2006 he was voted Harlequins Young Rugby Player of the Year.

Mr Clubb said: "An awful lot of people said how good he was when he was younger. In his last year at Gravesend he won everything going - players' player of the year, most improved player of the year, the whole lot.

"His old coach for Gravesend Kevin Newman always said he was going to go places but when it's your son you don't know what to think really."

jason.goodyer@archant.co.uk

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