13 May 2020
Wonderful news for upper sixth leaver, Charlie Atkinson, who has signed a three-year professional contract with Wasps Rugby starting this summer.
Charlie joined Abingdon in the Lower School and has progressed through the rugby pathway at School, club, and Wasps Academy. Last summer Charlie played for England Rugby Under 18s away in South Africa and was also selected for the home nations this summer.
Talking about the move to professional rugby at Wasps, Charlie said,
“I’m massively excited to take this first step into a professional rugby career. At this time, it makes me feel so grateful to those who have supported me. Abingdon School has been a central part to my development; what I’ve learned from playing with my closest friends and the high quality coaching staff has been invaluable. Also, the close collaboration that the School has with academies, in my case, with Wasps has given me access to excellent coaching whilst still maintaining my studies. A huge thanks to my school coaches throughout the years who have supported me.”
Commenting on Charlie’s success, Abingdon School, Director of Rugby, Matthew Gold said,
“This is fantastic news for Charlie. He has worked extremely hard on developing his skill set, game management understanding and conditioning to be able to be in this position. Charlie’s modesty, driven work ethic and kind manner means he is popular with peers as well as staff. Charlie is hopeful of achieving excellent A-Level grades this summer and has been a wonderful role model to younger pupils. He will be missed by everyone in the Abingdon School community.
Signing this contract is an impressive step for Charlie as most senior academy professional contracts are a maximum of two years, so for Charlie to get a three year contract shows what a bright future he will hopefully have in the game.”
Speaking about his son, Ian Atkinson, Charlie’s father said,
“I am very proud of Charlie’s recent rugby achievements with further England U18 selection and now signing a three-year senior academy contract with Wasps. Being his Father, I have seen his progression from an Under 6 player, and while he always stood out he has always had that extra motivation and ability to drive his personal improvement every day. As a fly half it is so competitive and to have an edge you have to hone your all round skills as well as read the patterns of play as they emerge. The Wasps and Abingdon school partnership has been such a crucial support to help him push on and deliver his potential. The joint focus over the years has meant he could train intensively around a busy study program and still achieve excellent academic results without compromise. The support structure around him has been exceptional! Thank you.”
Charlie was recently moved up into the full 1st team senior training squad for preseason and hopes to start training full-time by the end of this month, Government policy allowing. The Headmaster, pictured with Charlie, congratulated the England Fly Half and thanked him for his example to younger players and for his enthusiasm for rugby at the School.
We wish Charlie all the best and we will be following his progress.