Aylesbury Rugby Club hailed former youngster Sam Jones as ‘the perfect role model’ after he captained Premiership side London Wasps for the first time at the weekend.
Jones was named captain of Wasps for their LV=Cup match against Leicester Tigers.
He could not prevent a youthful side from going down to a 34-8 defeat.
But, Magenta and Blacks head coach Dave Larham says the former Aylesbury Grammar School pupil is a shining light for local youngsters to show they can reach the very top of the game.
Larham said: “We are delighted and proud to see a former player like Sam Jones named as captain of London Wasps for the first time.
“Sam is a fantastic role model for our minis and juniors to take inspiration from.
“It wasn’t long ago that Sam was wearing the magenta and black alongside our first XV players James Woodfall, Jordan Stanmore and Andy Hackett.
“We all know that Sam will lead by example and make us all very proud.”
Jones made his Wasps debut at the end of 2010 against Newport Gwent Dragons, having featured many times for the Wasps ‘A’ team on Monday nights while still at Aylesbury Grammar School, where he is still fondly remembered.
“As a school we’re immensely proud of his achievements,” an AGS spokesman said.
“He was an excellent captain of the first team here and with him as skipper they went unbeaten for a whole season.
“In Year 8 we realised he was a decent player and then he was appearing for England Under 16s when he was still 15 and when players play a year up, they are usually pretty good!”
Seeing Jones named as captain of one of the country’s biggest club came as no surprise to his old school, though.
The spokesman said: “He was great at motivating the kids around him and getting the best out of them and it really showed.”
Jones has starred for Wasps this season, appearing across the back row and catching the eye with his dynamic carrying and tireless tackling.