From Hornets RFC to England: The rise of Curtis Langdon
- Credit: Matthew Langdon
When Curtis Langdon was eight-years-old he was sent to kickboxing classes because his parents were worried he would be too soft on a rugby field.
The lessons certainly helped him develop his game and made him stand out amongst his teammates at Hornets RFC, where he had joined as a six-year-old.
Some 15 years later Langdon is now with Sale Sharks, after signing from London Irish in the summer of 2016, following loan spells with Henley Hawks, Macclesfield, Fylde and Doncaster Knights.
And the 23-year-old hooker has just been called into the England squad for the first time and is line to become the first player associated with the Hornets since Gerry Redmond picked up his cap in 1970 at France.
“It’s massive, absolute massive,” his father Matthew said.
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"We can’t put it into words. We are so happy, it’s the goal of seeing your son see his dreams come true. It’s the best feeling ever.
“It’s a dream come true. He puts in a massive amount of work. He deserves all he gets. He’s got a love for the game.
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“He’s just passionate about it and as proud for the family we can see that in him, it’s just so pleasing to see him getting this reward.
“He has had some setbacks, knock backs but he comes back stronger and that’s the the biggest thing about Curtis, he is so resilient. He just has a drive and passion to get what he wants. Now he’s enjoying all his hard work.”
Hornets coach Jon Richardson added: “It’s fantastic for Curtis and his family. He’s obviously been working hard and taken his opportunities.
“Obviously the club is very proud to have played a part in Curtis’s development as a player. It shows our youngsters that you don’t need to go anywhere else to try and get a step ahead, you can play your rugby at Hornets and still be given opportunities.
"There’s no need to go where the academy coach is or the county coach is. Also having known Curtis for a long time personally it’s just fantastic and I know dad Matt and mum Vicky will be beaming with pride and rightly so.
“Lots of great youngsters have come through the system at Hornets but not many will make it all the way to play for England.
“I think we should all just appreciate Curtis’s achievement and hope it inspires more boys and girls to join the club and maybe be the next one to achieve such an honour.”
Matthew was himself a player with the Hornets until the Colts when he had to move away before returning to the club as a coach in 2003.
As for Curtis he would come up through the Mins and Junior set-up before leaving just before the age of 16 to move to London.
Matthew is still involved with the club today as a patron and described their time with the Hornets as an “enjoyable experience” with some “fantastic and “brilliant memories” which helped shape Curtis into the player he is today.
Richardson described Curtis as a “tough lad and really competitive on the field.”
Matthew added: “He would drag all his mates from school and from other things trying to get them down the club because he wanted a good side. We made him captain he put so much work in.
“Just before we went to start tackling I was worried he might be a bit soft, so we took him kickboxing and that really gave him a head start in the contact area over others coming through.
“We were a successful side. A lot of it was due to him and a few others. We had a very good team and it was just a good time.
“It doesn’t come around very often in this area but when it does it’s nice and it’s nice that he’s a Hornet.”