Loughborough University graduate Will Attfield signs for Bury St Edmunds following tasting professional life with Richmond and England Sevens Academy
Bury St Edmunds' Jacob Ford is excited to see what impact former England Sevens Academy and Richmond professional Will Attfield can have in National League 2 South after completing the signing of the versatile back.
Attfield started out with London Irish Academy as a full-back but bounced back from the disappointment of not progressing into their senior academy set-up by earning a professional contract with England Sevens' development programme for 2017.
After completing his year he was released to combine his rugby with studying at Loughborough University.
Attfield, who is also adept at playing full-back, right-wing or as a outside centre, was most recently playing at RFU Championship club Richmond.
The former Hampton School pupil, who helped the Middlesex school win the prestigious St Joseph's College National Schools Rugby Festival in Suffolk, is about to begin a coaching career at Ipswich School in Bury chief Ford's rugby department.
The Wolfpack's head coach and director of rugby said: "We are really looking forward to Will Attfield joining us.
"He's been with the England Sevens programme and Loughborough University, played in National 1 and he's been with Richmond recently.
"He's going to link up with the squad and it gives us extra depth in the back line which will be good for us.
"I would like to think he will make a good impact for the rest of the year."
Of his versatility and how he fits into his Bury vision, he said: "He's a 13 and can also play back three as well.
"I think it's important we recruit the right people, and we've changed our recruitment policy to recruiting more local lads or lads of a similar age that we can ultimately keep together for two or three years, which is really important.
"Will's joining me at Ipswich School so he is going to do a coaching role there and play here so I'm really looking forward to him being around."
He added: "It's one that's been in the pipeline so it's nice to finally get it over the line and get him here."
On handing him his professional contract in the England Sevens Academy programme, now England men's XV coach Simon Amor, had said: "Will is clearly a very talented and exciting young rugby player with lots of potential and I hope that he will develop into a world-class sevens competitor.
"He reads the game well, has a great skills set and is good all-round player – ideal for the sevens game.”
Attfield will already be familiar with playing at Bury's ground, having sealed his England contract based on his performances in the England Development team that played in the Greene King IPA Sevens tournament.
Training with the squad this week, he is set to be in line for his Wolfpack debut at Rochford Hundred on Saturday as Bury look to bounce back from Saturday's 20-14 home defeat to Worthing.
And Ford believes they will need to learn the lessons from that defeat if they are to come back with their first victory of 2022.
"We are definitely going to get a very similar game next week, in terms of the conditions don't look like they are going to improve," he said post-match on Saturday.
"I know what the facilities are like down there in Rochford and it is a very tough place to go and win.
"It is going to be a scrap so we are going to have to find and learn how to win in those conditions which we are going to work very hard on this week."