The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Fletcher was at BMW headquarters this week as they launched their Performance Academy which in conjunction with the RFU will support 30 youngsters from the Under-16 sides through to Under-20s and beyond.
The programme looks to support the cream of the Red Rose youth crop and for Fletcher that brings back memories of the example of Jonny Wilkinson’s meteoric rise into senior England rugby.
Wilkinson made his debut as an 18-year-old in 1998 and with the production line firmly alive and kicking Fletcher reckons his young charges could yet emulate the England legend.
“I absolutely believe that people in my squad could make the step up and that the likes of the lads on the BMW academy will certainly be fancying trying to get into the World Cup squad,” he said.
“It’s certainly happened in the past. Jonny Wilkinson was only 18 when he made his debut and certainly from a backs point of view it is a bit easier to do that.
“I am sure there are guys in the academy programme who will be knocking on the door of the senior squad come the World Cup.”
And in current England head coach Stuart Lancaster, Fletcher believes the age group coaches like himself have the perfect boss and champion for youth rugby.
“Stuart Lancaster is great because he understands the pathway for youth players given his background and he has connected all of the age groups together,” he added.
“The talent pool of players is big and has been for a long, long time.
“We have got a lot of players and a lot of talented players.”