Talentspotter: England Academy powerhouse Olly Wilson aiming for breakthrough season with Bradford

Olly Wilson blossomed on the big stage for England Academy this autumn, and he aims to use that international experience to burst into Bradford’s first-team this year.

A Halifax lad, Wilson played his junior rugby at King Cross Park and Greetland All Rounders before getting picked up by the Bulls at Scholarship level.

The 19-year-old has been one hell of a fearsome front-rower in the Under-19s Academy League over the last couple of years, becoming a major part of Bradford’s impressive youth system.

His blockbusting displays earned him a first-team call-up last season, making his professional debut in Bradford’s win over Hemel Stags.

“I’m really privileged to pull on the Bradford shirt and it’s an honour really,” Wilson said.

“I just want to keep working hard in training with Bradford and hopefully push for some first-team games and start competing in the Championship.

“There’s a lot of senior lads to learn off at Bradford which is good for me. The likes of Ross Peltier and Steve Crossley are really supportive of me because I’m young, so I learn a lot from them lads.

“I want a breakthrough to the first-team, so I just need to keep working hard and hopefully I’ll get my chance in 2019.”

The tall and bulky front-rower starred in both of England Academy’s wins over the Australian Schoolboys in the autumn.

Wilson is being dubbed ‘the next big thing’ in West Yorkshire pubs and clubhouses, and his performances for his country certainly lived up to the hype.

“There’s a couple of lads in the England camp that I’d never met before and we’ve formed really good relationships and those memories will last for a lifetime,” he added.

“We are a close knight group. In training we are always together, and we are always together outside of training. We were relaxing together in the hotels and I think it showed in the games just how close of a team we are.

“We worked very hard for each other against the Aussies because we didn’t want to let anyone down.

“It was great to beat the Aussies. The boys stuck together and managed to grind out the wins. I’m really proud of all the boys, and I hope we can all take a lot from these Test matches.”

Is Wilson the next big thing? We hope we aren’t speaking too soon, but he is certainly on the right path to becoming a big name in the game.