TWO rugby players from Lymm helped to pull off an England XV win against the Barbarians, writes Joe Chorlton.

Alex Mitchell and Ross Harrison played around 60 minutes of Sunday’s 51-43 victory at Twickenham, after impressing for their club sides this season.

Mitchell in particular was lively for the Red Rose and set up two of their six tries.

The pair developed their careers as pupils at Lymm High School and as juniors at Lymm Rugby Club.

“It’s brilliant and I’m so proud the lads have been selected,” said Andy Leach, now treasurer and formerly chairman of the mini, junior and colts section of Lymm Rugby Club.

“We’ve known the lads for many years and it’s great to see them getting the recognition they deserve.

“It’s a tough journey to the full England side and it’s a very competitive business.

“After progressing through to the next team you always feel like you’re starting at the bottom.

“I think it says a lot about the coaching and the encouragement given by everyone at Lymm Rugby club and we are so proud.”

Mitchell plays scrum half for Northampton Saints and for him it was a first call-up to an England senior side after playing in the World Rugby Under 20s Championships in 2017.

He spent 13 years with Lymm from age five to 18 before graduating from the Sale Sharks academy and joining the Saints in 2015.

Leach added: “The first time I saw Alex play was when he was six years old and he was just untouchable.

“He might have been three-stone wet through but he had great hands and was very quick.”

Sale Sharks prop Harrison has faced the Barbarians before - at Twickenham in 2014 and 2017 - and also experienced a tour of South Africa with the England Saxons in 2016.

“Ross has played over 200 games for Sale Sharks which shows the dedication he has,” said Leach.