TOM Crozier hopes to follow in big brother James’ footsteps when he makes his debut for England Students.

The 21-year-old hooker – a former Colchester player – is set to play in tonight’s big game against the Portuguese national side, in Lisbon.

And if things go well, he hopes to represent the students again in next Friday’s match against France Universities, in Blois, and against Wales Universities, in Oxford, on March 7.

Crozier is no stranger to international duty, having won three under-16s England caps and one at under-18 level.

But this will be his first taste of England Students rugby – an experienced sampled by older brother and current Colchester full-back James.

“James played for the students four years ago, against Portugal, France Universities and Ireland Colleges,” said dad David.

“Now Tom is hoping to follow in his footsteps and he’s very excited about tonight’s game.

“He has a strong team around him and hopefully they can replicate the success of last year’s team, by beating Portugal.

“It’ll be a very tough match but hopefully they enjoy similar success.”

“Tom is very passionate about his rugby and has been playing for many years, starting with the minis and juniors at Colchester.

“He has always been focused on his education.

“But he’s a very determined young man and very keen to pursue his great passion of rugby.”

Chelmsford-born Crozier, whose family home is in Fairstead, near Braintree, is now in the third year of his degree at Loughborough University.

He is studying business management and sports science and plays for Loughborough Students, making more than 60 National League appearances.

The former Colchester Royal Grammar School and Colchester Sixth Form College student was previously part of the academy at Northampton Saints and captained both the Eastern Counties and London and South-East Representative sides.

He has also played for Ireland Exiles, thanks to his dual qualification, and his England Under-16 shirt proudly hangs in the Colchester club-house at Mill Road.”