Gailleton gearing up for thrilling Six Nations Under-20s Summer Series

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Gailleton had the chance to test himself against some of the biggest names rugby has to offer ahead of the upcoming Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series, which starts in Italy on Friday
Gailleton had the chance to test himself against some of the biggest names rugby has to offer ahead of the upcoming Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series, which starts in Italy on Friday

By James Reid

Émilien Gailleton may have been born in England but his allegiance is firmly with the country he has called home since he was just three years old.

Last week, the France U20 star was part of the squad that trained with the Barbarians, led by France manager Fabien Galthié, ahead of their 52-21 victory over England.

The young centre had the chance to test himself against some of the biggest names rugby has to offer ahead of the upcoming Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series, which starts in Italy on Friday.

And Gailleton, who has recently joined Top 14 club Pau, hopes he can use the experience he had on the training pitch against the likes of France captain Charles Ollivon to improve his own game.

“It was really exciting because there were a lot of Top 14 players,” said Gailleton.

“The level was really up and we learnt some skills as we trained with the bigger lads from the France team.

“We had the chance of training with the France team during the Guinness Six Nations, so to do it again is really helpful for us.”

Gailleton was born in Croydon before moving to France aged three where he quickly picked up rugby playing for Cahors from the age of five.

The France Under-20 captain quickly showed promise and moved to Agen before being called up to the Les Bleuets side for the past two seasons.

Gailleton will be in action once more this summer in the Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series and has his sights set on eventually representing France at senior level – but knows there’s a long way to go.

“My mum is English and at the time my parents lived in England,” added Gailleton.

“I’ve always played with the French guys so I have the French spirit and I’ve never had calls from English coaches – so I’ll stay here!

“Taking part in the Top 14 team would be a great thing and then making the France team but there’s a hell of a road ahead.”

It is a big aim but one Gailleton is determined to achieve, and he knows the value of being able to train alongside the players he looks up to.

“I really look at Gael Fickou,” added Gailleton. “For me, he can do everything in the centre.

“I’m a second centre who runs a lot and who manages to have some skills like a number ten – like Henry Slade.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the Top14 and we’ll see how it goes. I just want to make the most of all these training sessions with the bigger ones.”

The Six Nations U20 Summer Series takes place from 24 June – 12 July. Fans can watch every match live. For more information visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJHm6BFw-9JRA1CMekNLwMg

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