Home News Jack van Poortvliet: A Prospective England Scrum-Half Eyeing to Follow in Ben Youngs’ Footsteps

Jack van Poortvliet: A Prospective England Scrum-Half Eyeing to Follow in Ben Youngs’ Footsteps

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Jack van Poortvliet

Jack van Poortvliet has 12 England appearances under his belt

In the bright Surrey sunlight, Jack van Poortvliet exudes a level of self-assurance and wisdom that surpasses his youthful age.

At just 21, the England scrum-half, born in Norfolk and honed at Leicester, finds himself on the verge of mirroring his idol, Ben Youngs, by playing at a World Cup.

A strong handshake, followed by a friendly grin, punctuates his memories of missing England’s World Cup games in France when he was just six, due to matches being broadcasted past his bedtime.

Fast forward 16 years, he’s now preparing for a World Cup at England’s Pennyhill Park headquarters, enlisted in Steve Borthwick’s 40-man pre-tournament training squad.

Poortvliet, a graduate of the Tigers’ academy, is on the brink of fulfilling his long-standing aspiration of participating in the “zenith of English rugby.”

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“It would be a lie to say that playing in a World Cup was never a dream of mine,” he confessed to Sport News Center.

“I was only two when we [England] triumphed in 2003, so I have no memories of it, but I’ve watched the entire experience on YouTube.

“I vividly remember the ’07 World Cup, but my parents restricted my viewing due to the late kick-off times in France.

“My parents would tell me the match results the next morning, and I recall the disappointment when we lost the final.

“But Ben Youngs was always an idol for me, he’s from Norfolk and plays in the same position.

“His game-winning try against Argentina in the 2011 World Cup was awe-inspiring and sparked my dream of doing the same.

“It would mean the world to me and my family, considering the sacrifices they’ve made and the effort I’ve put in. It’s the zenith of English rugby.”

Borthwick is expected to announce his final World Cup squad on 7 August.

Veteran Youngs, 33, outpaces Van Poortvliet with 12 years of experience and 110 caps, but the teammates from both club and country hold a common goal.

“It feels surreal,” Van Poortvliet added.

“I recall last year after winning the Premiership with Leicester, we expressed our wish of being two scrum-halves from the same club and county, living just miles apart, attending the World Cup together.

“It’s a goal we’ve discussed and strived to achieve through mutual encouragement.”

While Van Poortvliet has been shaped by the East Midlands and Youngs’ influence, he’s also eager to carve his own identity in rugby.

“I try to step away from the Leicester circle,” he jests.

“We are tightly knit at Tigers, particularly with young players like Guy [Porter], George [Martin], and Freddie [Steward] whom I’ve known throughout my academy days. However, I also enjoy the company of Jamie [Blamire] and Bevan Rodd.”

The Tigers’ scrum-half emphasizes the role of card games in fostering camaraderie amidst intense training.

“Steve [Borthwick] stresses the importance of peak performance during training and enjoyment during downtime,” said Van Poortvliet. “I relish the social interactions, playing darts, pool, and cards.”

England’s World Cup journey starts with a match against Argentina on 9 September in Marseille, following a quartet of warm-up matches.

Borthwick’s squad travels to Cardiff to play Wales on 5 August, and Van Poortvliet asserts that the game’s friendly status won’t dilute the longstanding rivalry between the nations.

“Our aim is to clinch victories in these pre-season games,” he stated.

“The chance to play against Wales and experience the rivalry first-hand at the Millennium Stadium is nothing short of exhilarating.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Jack van Poortvliet

Who is Jack van Poortvliet?

Jack van Poortvliet is a 21-year-old rugby player who has earned 12 caps for the England national team. He plays as a scrum-half, the same position as his hero, Ben Youngs.

Who is Jack van Poortvliet’s rugby hero?

Jack van Poortvliet’s rugby hero is Ben Youngs, an experienced scrum-half for England and Leicester. Youngs’ performance, particularly his winning try at the 2011 World Cup, has been a source of inspiration for Poortvliet.

What is Jack van Poortvliet’s dream?

Jack van Poortvliet’s long-standing dream is to participate in a World Cup, a pinnacle of English rugby. He is on the brink of realizing this dream as he has been included in the pre-tournament training squad.

What is the relationship between Jack van Poortvliet and Ben Youngs?

Ben Youngs and Jack van Poortvliet are teammates at both club (Leicester Tigers) and national levels (England). They share a common goal of being two scrum-halves from the same club and county at the World Cup.

When will the final World Cup squad be announced?

The final World Cup squad is set to be announced by head coach Steve Borthwick on 7 August.

Who is Steve Borthwick?

Steve Borthwick is the head coach of the England national rugby team. He has enlisted Jack van Poortvliet in his 40-man pre-tournament training squad for the World Cup.

When and against whom does England begin their World Cup campaign?

England begins their World Cup campaign against Argentina on 9 September in Marseille. The team will also play a series of four warm-up games before the campaign.

More about Jack van Poortvliet

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TigersFanatic July 26, 2023 - 8:46 am

Ben Youngs has been an inspiration for many young players, it’s great to see his legacy being carried forward by the likes of Jack. All the best to both of them!

RugbyFan101 July 26, 2023 - 2:48 pm

wow! young Jack’s really going for it, eh? Looking forward to seeing him in action at the World Cup, he’s got talent for sure! GO ENGLAND!!

ScrumMaster77 July 26, 2023 - 2:50 pm

Remember watching Youngs in 2011, if Jack can do half of what he did, we’re in for a treat! Good luck, kid.

NorfolkNative July 26, 2023 - 4:21 pm

Proud to see two lads from Norfolk representing at the World cup, makes me feel proud to be from here.

RugbyEnthusiast July 26, 2023 - 9:05 pm

Hoping to see Van Poortvliet make his own mark in the game, we need new stars in English rugby. You got this Jack!


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