Tavistock’s Northmore could cap amazing journey with Premiership title win

LESS than five years ago, Luke Northmore was playing in the Cornwall/Devon League for Tavistock, but on Saturday he will be hoping to become a Premiership title winner.

Northmore has been named in Harlequins’ squad for the Premiership final against Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham.

Playing in a showpiece event at the most famous rugby ground in the world is a far cry from playing away at Lanner at level eight.

But Northmore has shown that you can make it to the top without going through the academy system.

The former Tavistock College pupil played senior rugby for his home town club in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons before going away to Cardiff Met University, which is where he really made a name for himself. He earned England Students honours before Harlequins came calling upon his graduation.

And the 24-year-old centre has really made his mark this season, making 17 appearances and scoring five tries as Quins have made it through to the Premiership final.

“It is nice, especially for young players that are coming through, that they see someone who has done it without going through Exeter’s academy,” said Tavistock’s player-coach Hammy Kerswill.

“Obviously, he made his mark at uni with Cardiff Met and has got picked up from there, but you have to give him a lot of credit. He has done in on his own back.

“And he has slotted into it so well at Harlequins and has made a big contribution.”

He added: “He is also still very much a Tavvy boy, which is brilliant.

“His younger brother, Brandon, has just moved up to the colts and he’s a brilliant player as well. His mum is also still involved, she is always up at the club watching Brandon.”

Northmore really showed his talent at the start of the 2016-17 season when he scored seven tries in his opening two games for Tavistock before going away to university.

“We played down at Lanner on their old pitch and he scored four tries and we won,” said Kerswill. “I remember their vice-captain asking ‘where the hell did you find him?’

“I think in our first three games that season he was the only player to score.

“It is still class every time we see him on the TV. It’s been a while, but in the clubhouse when Harlequins were on the late slots after we had finished playing, it was just great watching him.”

Unfortunately, Tavistock’s clubhouse has not re-opened due to Covid-19 restrictions so they can’t show the final, but club members will no doubt be cheering him on at home.

He will start on the bench for the big game against the Chiefs, which kicks-off at 5.30pm. If he comes on he could find himself in direct competition with another Plymouth-born centre, Henry Slade.

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