It’s not every weekend the local drain cleaner’s son debuts as Ireland’s fly half

No, other than coming from the same place, I have no contact:

Billy Burns, the new Ireland fly-half, has insisted he will not feel conflicted if he runs out at Twickenham against England this weekend.

Burns, who joined Ulster in the Pro14 two years ago and qualifies to play for Ireland through his grandfather, made his Test debut off the bench in the win over Wales last Friday.

Born in Bath, Burns studied at Beechen Cliff School and Hartpury College before making over 100 appearances for Gloucester

There is an amusement that the older brother has turned out as fly half for England. Beechen Cliff is the school just up the road from where I grew up and is a comp. But retains much grammar school influence including playing rugby and having a – small – boarding section. It was the number 2 option for me instead of Downside. Rather better academically than D quite possibly, as it has turned out a Nobel Laureate, not something I think the monks have achieved as yet.

More, the family might be left footers given that they’re using Prior Park as a background for the company photo. And the local Catholic parish that covers that school area was set up by monks from D etc.

But this is all just same town stuff, find connections like that across any few people from the same town.

The one bit that produced a small smile – small, you understand – was the lad’s playing background. For Gloucester, not Bath, as youths. That business, it’s based in Bath, sure, but it’s on the Gloucester Road…..

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