When George Barton and Ethan Hunt first took to a rugby pitch together, little did they know just where their journey was taking them.
With Ethan Hunt making his first Gallagher Premiership start at Hooker on Saturday, the day marked a proud moment for childhood friends Barton & Hunt.
Both George and Ethan started their rugby career just two miles from Kingsholm, at Longlevens Rugby, one of the many excellent rugby clubs in Gloucestershire.
From U7 right the way through the age-groups, coached by George’s parents, Simon and Gill Barton, the pair were key members of the successful youth side, winning the County Cup consecutively at U14, U15 and U16.
Barton linked up with the Gloucester Rugby Academy aged 13, developing and nurturing his game through the various stages of the Academy programme, whilst continuing to play his rugby with Longlevens. Whereas Hunt took a slightly different route, re-joining the Academy after continuing his growth with Hartpury College, having previously taken some time away from the set-up.
Longlevens Rugby’s Chairman Chris Yorke says the Club are looking forward to seeing Barton and Hunt’s continued progression.
“Longlevens Rugby are incredibly proud to watch Ethan Hunt and George Barton play for Gloucester Rugby. They join a rich heritage and proud tradition of Longlevens players going on to achieve higher honours. We look forward to watching their personal development and growth in the Cherry and White shirt.”
However, the duo’s journey to Kingsholm didn’t just include playing rugby. In 2015, Gloucester Rugby’s kit manager, Shaun Bullock, recruited the pair to help with ball-boy duties for the Rugby World Cup at Kingsholm. George and Ethan, pictured here, sat together as Georgia took on Tonga in the group-stages.
It is credit to both George and Ethan’s commitment and hard work to see them both start in the Gallagher Premiership together for the first time, a memory that they will cherish long into the future.