When he began his career in rugby union in 2014, centre Joe Marchant featured for National League 2 East side Worthing RFC.
During those 10 matches in the fourth tier of English rugby, he would have dreamed of wearing an England shirt one day at a World Cup.
Marchant’s dream came true this year, as not only did he feature in Steve Borthwick’s side, but he also helped them to finish third at the tournament. It could have been even better for England as they were beaten in the semi-final by just one point by eventual winners South Africa, in a performance they can be proud of.
69′ | Joe Marchant goes over on the right and Ford adds the touchline conversion.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) August 26, 2023
Now with Stade Français Paris in the top 14, Marchant scored two tries at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, getting over the line against Japan and Fiji.
Marchant Expected to Do It All Again in Australia Despite French Move
England will be confident they can better their World Cup result in 2027 in Australia. They are 10/1 in the rugby union betting odds for that tournament. Marchant will be hoping he can play his role in helping his country do even better when they travel Down Under at the next edition of the competition, despite his move to Stade Français Paris meaning he is ineligible to feature for his country at the moment.
— TOP 14 Rugby (@top14rugby) August 3, 2023
The 27-year-old, who did not look out of place against the world’s best players in France, is not ruling out a return to the national team. He is going to relook at his situation in the future, so he has not ruled out a return to England in the future.
Marchant has now played 27 times for his country. He made his Test debut against Wales in 2019 in a warm-up match ahead of the World Cup. Unfortunately for the centre, he did not make the squad for the World Cup in Japan.
Borthwick got the most out of a squad that lacked experience compared to some of their biggest rivals. He put his belief in players like Marchant to shine. The journey towards 2027 starts now, and the England head coach will use the Test rugby his side will play in 2024 to give those players the time they need in international rugby.
Marchant Gives Hope to National League Players
His performances at the World Cup, and the journey Marchant has been on in his career, will give National League players today the hope they can to make it to the international stage. Many of the players at the 56 clubs in the National Leagues 1,2, North, West and East will have watched the tournament in France and will still believe they can feature for their respective countries in 2027.
Marchant is not the first to make it from the National League to international rugby, and he will not be last. His journey is another fine example of why the English rugby system is recognised as being one of the best in the sport.
The centre has now returned to Stade Français Paris, and he is expected to feature for his new club in the early stages of the 2023/24 campaign, as he looks to help the French side continue their excellent start to the season.