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England selection for two King Edward's sportsmen

25 April 2013

Two current pupils have been selected to play for England for two very different sports. Fifths pupil, Paolo Odogwu, has been selected to play for the England U16 rugby squad and UM pupil, Matt Madden, has been selected for the Great Britain U14 water polo squad.

Paolo Odogwu follows in the international footsteps of Miles Benjamin (2007) who has gone on to play for England Saxons, Worcester Warriors and, now, Leicester Tigers. Paolo has already attended two training camps and was part of the squad for three international matches against France, Scotland and the USA over Easter.

On playing for his country, Paolo said: "It must be the biggest achievement of my life so far and it can't be taken away from me that I've represented England. It's an honour to represent my country but putting on the England shirt for the first time was quite surreal.

"I first started playing rugby when I arrived at King Edward's School in Year 7. Going from playing rugby for school to playing rugby for England in five years is quite an achievement. I would like to play professionally, so I hope that this may be the start of my career."

Matt MaddenKing Edward's School has had considerable success in water polo in recent years, winning national championships at Under 16 and Under 18 level, so Matt Madden is following some outstanding players. The squad has 26 players and is currently training towards their main target of the European Qualifications in May 2015. Leading up to 2015 the squad will meet once a month for weekend camps as well as training camps and competitions in Europe. Matt's selection is more remarkable because he is a year young for the team.

On his selection for the Great Britain team, Matt said: "I'm thrilled to be selected. It's a great experience which I'll hope to learn a lot from. The school team is going on tour to Hungary next year so that will also help my development."

John Claughton, Chief Master, said: "I am delighted that these boys have been selected for their national squads. It is a considerable achievement for boys of considerable natural talent. As you might imagine, they make a big impact in school matches and I hope they can do the same at national and international level. King Edward's School may be a school most highly regarded for its academic achievements and famous former pupils, but sport has always been a big part of life here: after all, JRR Tolkien used to play full back for the 1st XV.

"At the moment, sport continues to grow in scale and quality: in the course of this term we have competed in regional finals in hockey, badminton, water polo and volleyball. We always hope to produce stars like Paolo and Matt, but it's just as important that as many boys as possible get the chance to enjoy sport and represent the school."