Former Fylde RFC back rower Josh Beaumont has earned his first call-up to the England Six Nations squad.
And the ‘monster’ forward is being tipped for even bigger honours.
Fylde player-coach Paul Arnold, who saw Beaumont’s introduction to rugby at close quarters, said he could see the towering forward, son of England great Bill, breaking into the British Lions’ squad to tour New Zealand in 2017.
Arnold said it soon became apparent that Beaumont junior was destined for a big future when he made the first of 29 appearances for Fylde in 2009-10 season against Broadstreet.
He said: “Josh was obviously extremely talented and gifted from the very first game he played for Fylde.
“I remember one early game when he scored a try from 30 yards out against Hull Ionians.
“He changed from being a raw 18-year-old to the monster of a player that he is now.
“He has all the skills, speed and strength that a back row forward needs.”
Arnold added: “At the time when Josh first came into the side, I talked to (then team-mate) Stephen Briers that we should have a bet on Josh being in the British Lions’ squad for 2017.
“We wished we had taken that bet because he would be very short odds now to get into the Lions team.
“There is no reason why it shouldn’t happen.”
Arnold pointed out that it was another indication as to the success of the mini-junior supply-line at Fylde.
In recent years the junior section at the Woodlands has produced Beaumont, as well as scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth, together with front row forward Kieran Brookes, who was not considered for the current Six Nations squad because of injury.
However, there is no place for Blackpool-born Wigglesworth, of Saracens, in coach Eddie Jones’ first selection.
Beaumont, who studied at Durham University, joined Premiership club Sale Sharks and made his debut for them in a a Heineken Cup clash in the 2012-13 campaign.
His progress was hampered by a long-standing injury, but Beaumont has come back looking better than ever.
This season Beaumont has consistently produced a number of eye-catching displays for Sale, and the final call-up to England had been widely touted.
His father Bill, now a Chorley businessman and chairman of the Rugby Football Union, skippered England to a Grand Slam back in 1980 and remains one of the most respected figures in the game.
Josh Beaumont is one of seven uncapped players named by Jones.
The others are Sam Hill, Jack Clifford, Elliot Daly, Ollie Devoto, Paul Hill and Maro Itoje
Dylan Hartley, Chris Ashton and Manu Tuilagi have been included but the 33-man party includes a number of big-name omissions: Tom Youngs, Tom Wood, Geoff Parling and Danny Cipriani have all missed out on selection in the first group.
England Elite Player Squad:
Forwards: Josh Beaumont (Sale), Dan Cole (Leicester), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), James Haskell (Wasps), Paul Hill (Northampton), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Matt Kvesic (Gloucester) injury replacement for Dave Ewers (Exeter), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Matt Mullan (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Henry Thomas (Bath) injury replacement for Kieran Brookes (Northampton), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens).
Backs: Chris Ashton (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Ollie Devoto (Bath) injury replacement for Manu Tuilagi (Leicester), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath), Alex Goode (Saracens), Sam Hill (Exeter) injury replacement for Henry Slade (Exeter), Jonathan Joseph (Bath), Jack Nowell (Exeter), Anthony Watson (Bath), Marland Yarde (Harlequins), Ben Youngs (Leicester).