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December 20, 2002


From: Plymouth Evening Herald, UK - 20 Dec 2002

Teenage prop Clint Reilly is dreaming of pulling on the white shirt of England after being invited to attend trials for the country's deaf colts rugby team.

The 16-year-old has made a name for himself on the local rugby scene after starting playing at Eggbuckland Community College and Plymstock Rugby Club.

Reilly has never let his hearing impairment hamper his rugby career and this season he has been selected to play for the city's representative team - the Plymouth City Lions, who are coached by Plymouth Albion star Brett McCormack.

Reilly admits he is looking forward to going up to London for the trials which will be held in February.

"When we go up there's going to be some professional England players training us," said Clint.

"I think there's going to be an England team going to New Zealand on tour."

He added: "I've just got to try and get transport up there.

"I'm the only one from Plymouth."

But Reilly's first goal is to try to find a new club.

For the last five years he has played for Plymstock, but they do not have a team in his age group this year and he is finding it difficult to find another club.

"I used to play for Plymstock and they were great," said Reilly. "I played for them for years but they've just not got enough players this year.

"I'm a bit unhappy because I've been with them for five years.

"I'm afraid to go to a club if they don't understand my needs. Plymstock were great."

Reilly, who studies at Eggbuckland CC and Plymouth CFE, admits he does find it difficult sometimes on the rugby field.

"I used to play with hearing aids, but now I don't. It is hard in the line-out and I get really stressed out with referees.

"I tell the refs I can't hear, but it's difficult in the scrum. That's the only thing I get stressed with."

Reilly hopes to encourage more youngsters with hearing problems to take up sport. "When I started playing all my mates said deaf people don't like sport," he said. "I would like to show the city that deaf people are interested in sport."

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