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“They called me Thor. Thor, son of Odin” – Gloucester Rugby’s Ollie Thorley looking for more England caps this Autumn

Gloucester Rugby’s most recent talent to make it through the ranks and get capped by England is looking for more international game time this Autumn.

Ollie Thorley made his international debut against Itlay in the final round of the Six Nations and the Cherry and White winger will be looking to build on this with more game time in the Autumn Nations Cup which starts this weekend with England taking on Georgia at Twickenham. 

Thorley is an absolute beast of a rugby player and the perfect depiction of how the game has changed since the sport went professional. Wingers used to be small, nimble and fast but this modern crop of try-scoring talent is of a different breed. Thorley is big. He has mountains as shoulders, is as strong as a backrow forward and somehow still has the pace of a thoroughbred racing in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

The Gloucester star scored 11 tries in the Premiership this season forcing Eddie Jones into giving the 24-year-old a chance and he will hope that he has done enough to be in contention again this weekend.

Having been involved in the England training squad for about a year, Thorley has had some nicknames thrust upon him…

“The main ones are Thorlo or One-ten,” Thorley told Rugby World. “Some people call me one-ten because they say I go 110% in everything. In the England camp, they called me Thor. Thor, son of Odin.

Things are looking good for the Gloucester star who came on in the second half against Italy, helping England win the Six Nations. Jones has said that he is looking for players who have a “desperation to play” and Thorley is certainly one who fits that description.

“How quickly they adapt to the training environment is the number one thing for us,” England head coach Eddie Jones said to TalkingRugbyUnion about his selection policy. “Every time we train, it is a grading session. We want to grade the players from one to 36, at the moment, and see where they sit and see how they handle the session and that gives an indication.

“Some people are growing and some people are shrinking. The people who are growing, if they keep growing to the extent where their growth is above that of an established player, then we will select them.

“It is just a matter of how quickly they can adapt. Some players adapt very quickly, some players don’t adapt so quickly and we have had players for who it has been 12 months in camp before they got a game for us, whereas other players have been here for a week and got a game.

Thorley is one of those players who has had to patiently wait for his time to shine. Having spent a lot of time in the England camp it seems that Jones has ticked all of the boxes on his checklist and that the winger is now ready for the spotlight.

“We are always trying to select players from club rugby who potentially can be international class in one part of their game,” Jones continued. “It might be their speed, it might be their physicality, it might be their attitude or it might be their skill and we are always trying to work out who can do that.

“If we think they have the potential to do it, then we bring them into camp and we test that attribute and see whether we think it could go to the next step, which is test level.”

There is no denying that Thorley fits the bill. He’ll be living up to his nicknames in training and will hope to have an opportunity to smash Thor’s hammer this weekend.

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