Harlequins centre Charlie Walker’s feet have finally touched the ground in Hong Kong as he steps straight from the Under 20 Six Nations into the HSBC Sevens World Series with England, writes Simon Mills.
The 19-year-old from Leicestershire helped England beat Ireland 20-9 at London Wasps last Friday night – securing a second title in a row for Rob Hunter’s side – and was heading for Heathrow and the Far East the following day.
The former 100m track finalist at the English Schools Athletics Association championships, is likely to make his international sevens debut during the Hong Kong Sevens this weekend, having traded a relegation scrap with Championship strugglers Esher for the high life.
“We got the win [against Ireland] and the goal we set out to do at the start of the season which was to win the Six Nations so there was a great buzz, then on Saturday I was off to Hong Kong, so it was a pretty hectic weekend but it’s awesome to be here,” said Walker.
“Rob Hunter and Nick Walshe had pulled me aside one lunchtime and said ‘after Ireland you’ll be flying to Hong Kong to join the England sevens boys’.
“I didn’t know what to say, particularly because it’s Hong Kong and it’s one of the biggest tournaments with one of the biggest followings.
“As a younger player looking to get better, you’ve got to play in front of big crowds, that’s the way you’re going to get experience and with that comes confidence and learning how you improve yourself as a player.
“From what I’ve heard this is the big one, the one you want to go to and I’m really looking forward to it.”