Feature: Anthony Watson

Wingin’ It

Corey John Richards takes a look at England winger and Apple and Bears ambassador Anthony Watson, who is quickly making a name for himself on and off the pitch.

The future face of England rugby is mired in speculation and doubt and with their somewhat lackluster performance in the recent World Cup, it’s easy to see why. While the results of the RWC will always be ready to taunt and haunt the players going into future tournaments, we can rest some assured hopes on the crop of young players quickly rising through the ranks, notably flying winger, Anthony Watson.

Born into the middle of three brothers, Watson has spoken of strong sibling rivalry and competitiveness between his two brothers. Talking to the Daily Mail, Watson said: “We were always competing and scrapping; whether it was football, cricket, rugby or computer games, as the middle one, I was always getting stitched up and was a pretty aggressive kid. I did the 100metres at sports day and took Marcus’ school record off him – I ran it in 11.4 seconds and it was one of the happiest moments of my life! Callum didn’t beat it either, so that made it even better.”

This sibling rivalry has continued into his adult life, with both of his brothers continuing to play rugby professionally. As Watson said to the Telegraph: “my older brother [Marcus] used to play in the Sevens and now he has gone to Newcastle and my little brother [Callum] has just signed for London Irish.” This prevailing brotherly camaraderie and competition has most certainly helped shape the young winger’s career.

It’s easy to consider Watsons stint at last years RWC as a coming of age story for the young lad. However, at 21, Watson was already a seasoned competitor on the England Sevens circuit and his career is moving forward at a fast pace. His ambitions currently lie with his team Bath; believing they can secure the premiership and championship titles respectively. At such a young age, the rising star has got his whole career ahead of him, but this doesn’t mean he’s slowing down momentum, looking set to be a regular fixture in the premiership and the England squad for years to come.

It’s not just the rugby world that has kept a close eye on Watson. As a promising young athlete, companies and brands have already taken a shining to him. At present, he is leading the way as the brand ambassador for Apple and Bears, an opportunity that looks to fuse him with the style and substance of the brand. This unification has been earning him lots of publicity as the acclaimed “coolest wing man in England” and this sense of hot acclaim can only work wonders for Watson.

That being said, can England’s new coach Eddie Jones put his faith in young players like brands can? Watson was one of the few players to leave the World cup with any merit and has swiftly established himself as a key team member that we can expect to see a lot from in future tournaments – but one player isn’t enough. The England squad will have to work hard at rebuilding their image and their team, a lot of which will start during the coming Six Nations. If the team can become more cohesive and stronger, they might not see another crushing defeat anytime soon. With players like Watson swiftly taking the helm, it’s hard to imagine that England will be stuck in this rut for much longer.

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