Chad's a Thorne in the Portuguese side
HARTPURY College prop Chad Thorne scored England Students' sole try in Lisbon on Saturday to send them on their way to recording a first ever victory against IRB members Portugal, triumphing 25-20.
Thorne who formed part of an all Hartpury front-row alongside James Gibbons and Callum O'Connell went over at the start of the second half as the Students came out firing after going in at the break 12-9 down.
The six Hartpury lads helped England record a win that broke a losing stretch in the Portuguese capital, dating back to the 2009-2010 season.
In total, six players from Hartpury made the field of play during the game, the college's international total is now well beyond the 100 mark.
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Speaking about the game, try-hero Thorne said: "It's been an absolutely amazing few days. It's been incredibly professional and I know that every single player has felt privileged to be in the group.
"We've come together as a unit so well and to get the win as we did means so much" he said.
"To be able to share it with five guys who I play with week in, week out is brilliant and it's made us all appreciate it a little more.
"It's all a bit surreal and I'm sure it'll only really kick in when we get home and look back."
Second row Harry Casson paid tribute to his coaches and team-mates at Hartpury.
"To earn national recognition at any level is obviously special but every player chosen in the squad is here because they've been backed at their university," he said.
"I know I speak for Chad, Callum, Alex, Luke and James when I say we have a lot to be thankful for.
"The set-up at Hartpury is second to none - that includes the coaches, physios and the chefs.
"Everyone there in the rugby-set up has played a part in us all being here and to represent our team-mates and staff is something that we'll never forget.
Skipper Josh Beaumont, son of England great Bill, added, "I have to give real credit to the front row.
"We talked all week about how our set-piece was going to be a really key tool for us and it worked out exactly as we wanted it to.
"James, Callum and Chad gave us a solid platform to get on the front foot and, especially in the second half, we looked incredibly strong.
"Harry has been a real leader all week around the camp and even when we were three points down at half-time, he just kept us moving in the right direction."
For Hartpury's Director of Elite sport Phil de Glanville the sextet's call is just another sign of the work done in the all-conquering College programme.
The former England captain said: "Hartpury Sport has a fantastic track record of developing players capable of student international representation.
"It's an honour to see Hartpury with six of the 22-man England squad this time around."