Nathan Earle is one seven academy players who have been training alongside the senior squad this preseason.
Earle has been a member of the Saracens academy since the age of 15, and the talented three-quarter revealed how he is finding the step up.
“It’s a massive transition” said the 18-year old.
“With us Academy boys we’ve gone from being the top dogs and the main guys in our respective age groups to being thrown into an environment where you have everything to prove and you are way down the pecking order.”
“We’re under the tutelage of the main coaches, so we are adapting to that and obviously the step-up of standard is huge.”
“The quality is so much better” added Earle, “we are expected to work so much harder – In order to stand out you’ve got to be busting a gut at every opportunity and try to be flawless with everything you do”.
Earle has been training alongside Saracens star studded senior squad and has been enjoying the experience.
“Initially I was a bit star struck; you see the lads in the club and of course you are aware of them, but getting to train with the senior squad you quickly realise they are just normal, down to earth people who are willing to pass down their expertise to make us better players and people.
“It’s quite surreal at times when you train with seasoned internationals and house hold names, but it something that is highly enjoyable and I’m sure I speak for the majority of the academy boys, that it is something that will be of great benefit for us. It’s so much fun; it’s a dream job.”
Earle is one of many exciting talents progressing through the Saracens youth system, and Academy Manager Don Barrell believes Earle’s willingness to improve is one of his main qualities.
“I think first and foremost Nathan is a great lad to have in our system” Barrell explained.
“He’s a really hard worker since we’ve had him in, he’s always willing to learn and look above and ask questions – I think that kind of attitude and work ethic has helped him get a place in the senior academy and learn from some of the best guys around.”
He added; “Nathan brings many attributes; he’s a great ball carrier, he can kick and play out of hand well, he is solid defensively and is an exciting runner. “He is still young and finding his feet. – He’s got the beauty here of having some truly world class players to learn from so I think he’s in a great environment to learn his trade”.