Plymouth Albion have strengthened their team on and off the pitch with the signing of former England Under 18s winger Josh Skelcey from Championship side Nottingham Rugby.
Josh, praised for his speed and ability to beat players one on one, will combine his playing with a coaching role in Albion’s expanding community department.
Originally from Bedfordshire, 23-year-old Josh started playing rugby at 13. His potential was spotted early on and he joined the player development programme and academy at Premiership side Northampton Saints, where he went on to make a number of LV= Cup appearances.
He was chosen for the 2013 England U18 squad that won the European Championships and toured South Africa.
The former Queensbury Academy, Bedfordshire, and Moulton College, Northamptonshire, student visited the city recently and thought Plymouth was “a great place” and the club had “a fantastic atmosphere.”
Currently head coach of Midlands 2 East (North) side Nottingham Casuals, Josh will combine playing with coaching.
Albion head coach Kieran Hallett says: “Josh is a proven Championship performer who is big and physical as well as having top end speed.”
Josh is also excited about Kieran Hallett’s style of play: “As a coach he is currently really relevant, as Kieran has only recently stopped playing to a good level himself.
“He was a fly-half so he likes his team to play an expansive game and, as a winger, if they throw the ball around then that’s good for me!”
Josh will see some familiar faces in the Albion changing room, including fly-half Dan Mugford, who was a team-mate at Nottingham, and Luke Chapman who was in the same England U18 squad.
Josh is looking forward to starting pre-season training with Albion in the summer and says: “I’m absolutely delighted to have signed for Plymouth Albion and to have the opportunity to get back to playing rugby again after my injury setbacks this season.
“I am keen to build my confidence and play rugby week-in, week-out, and I’m itching to get started.”
Josh joins the club for the 2018/19 season on a one-year contract.