Wellington's thespian captain aims to make Warwick 'les miserables'

Last updated at 13:22 06 March 2008

Rob O'Donovan, the Wellington College captain, has already given stellar performances on the stage as Jan Valjean this week.

But tomorrow he swaps his revolutionary garb for rugby gear in the Daily Mail U18 Cup semi-finals against champions Warwick.

No guessing who the No 8 wishes to end up as Les Miserables on the stage at Banbury RFC!

"He's been fantastic in the school production of Les Mis," said coach Graeme Owton. "If he could score the winning try against Warwick it would top off the week for him - and us."

O'Donovan and fellow thespians Henry Pinto and Tommy Smale will be whisked up to the team hotel late on Friday night after the final performance, try and get a good night's sleep and then attempt to break Wellington's semi-final hoodoo. They have been pipped by Durham and Barnard Castle in the last two seasons.

It won't be easy. No one expected Warwick to get so far with only three of the players who won the Cup at Twickenham last season. But they have just got better and better as the season has progressed, particularly the pack, and the manner in which they overcame an unbeaten John Cleveland side and KCS Wimbledon in the quarter-finals underlined a fierce team spirit. The crown will not be given up easily.

The delay caused by the disciplinary proceedings and subsequent disqualification of St Peter's, Gloucester for fielding ineligible players against Wellington has done neither side any favours.

Wellington, at least, shook some rust off their boots last Saturday in the 36-12 defeat of RGS Newcastle in their quarter-final, but it was only in the last 15 minutes that they hit their best form.

They are also without their first choice kicker and fly half Chris Lewis-Pratt, who injured himself against St Peter's.

The kicking duties were passed to the youngest player in the team against RGS. England U16 winger Sam Edgerley kicked four conversions and penalty as well as scoring two tries, but there will a lot of pressure on his young shoulders against Warwick.

Hard one to call this, but one thing is certain, both teams like to play expansive rugby and will only man those barricades if they have to.

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