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RUGBY UNION: Ex-Chinnor player Johnson picked for England
10:00am Friday 8th June 2012 in Rugby
Tom Johnson will complete a remarkable transition from Chinnor player to England international when he lines up against South Africa in Durban tomorrow.
The 29-year-old makes his debut at blindside flanker after a second impressive season for Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership.
Johnson played for Chinnor between 2002 and 2004 while studying at Oxford Brookes University before working his way up to top-flight rugby.
“I’m delighted for him. It’s marvellous news,”said Lynn Evans, who was director of rugby at Chinnor.
“We probably had two of the fastest back-rowers in the country in those days with Tom and Dave Seymour, who is now at Sale.
“Tom had great determination. It was obvious once he came to us that he had the ability to go all the way.
“It was amazing that a guy like him slipped through the net of professional clubs, but it shows that you can develop later and still make it.
“He has gone from strength to strength and he is a thoroughly decent guy.
“He still keeps in touch with some of the Chinnor guys and was an usher at Matt Hutchings’s wedding.”