A PROMISING rugby player from Henley has been snapped up by Premiership side Exeter Chiefs.
Alec Hepburn, who attended Gillotts School and The Henley College, signed for the Sandy Park club last week.
The Australian-born 21-year-old left London Wasps at the end of last season and had been playing for Perth Spirit in his home country before Exeter approached him.
Hepburn, who lived in Damer Gardens, came through the Henley College’s Achieving Academic and Sporting Excellence programme before signing for Wasps.
He was loaned out to Henley Hawks during the 2011/12 season and also spent a season at London Welsh in Oxford.
In 2013 he won the junior World Cup in France as part of the England U20 side.
Hepburn, a loose-head prop, is unlikely to be able to play for his new club this season as he is still recovering from a knee injury but should be fit for pre-season.
Hepburn’s family moved to Henley from Western Australia and he only took up rugby at the age of 15, having been introduced to the game by Gillotts PE teacher Allan Carter.
Martin Unsworth, academy coach at The Henley College, said: “Whilst at Gillotts School Alec joined Henley RFC as an U15 having played very little rugby.
“He played in a number of positions and was quickly promoted to a county player. After a season with the The Henley College he was included in the Wasps academy.
“Alec is one of the nicest people you could meet. He was very much liked by his coaches and teachers whilst at The Henley College and was so modest in everything he did.
“Alec used to help coach the development rugby side at the college and was a real inspiration to our younger players.”