The inclusion of former Colchester Rugby Club youngster Lewis Ludlam in England’s World Cup training squad is fully merited according to an Essex-based coach who knows him well.

The 23-year-old Northampton Saints flanker, who came through the Mill Road youth set-up, is one of four uncapped players to be included in the training squad, ahead of this year’s tournament in Japan.

And Tim Grimsey, Northampton Saints Academy coach development officer, who has worked with the former Colchester player said his place in England head coach Eddie Jones’ squad was thoroughly deserved.

Grimsey said: “Lewis came through our programme at Saints and is a top lad.

“He deserves everything he has got because he has worked so hard.

“He came to us late after initially being released but he just made massive strides.

“His strengths on the pitch are that he is robust and mobile and so tenacious; his work rate around the field is so good.

“Lewis has that inner desire in abundance and he is a genuinely nice lad.”

Gloucester scrum-half Willi Heinz, Bath wing Ruaridh McConnochie and Saracens hooker Jack Singleton are the other uncapped players to have been included in Jones’ squad.

As well as coming through Colchester’s youth system, Ludlam, a former St Joseph’s College schoolboy in Ipswich, has already represented England at both under-20 and under-18 level.

And Grimsey said he should be a role model for other youngsters looking to make their mark at senior levels.

He added: “Young players looking to develop should look at what Lewis has done.

“He should be a real role model to them.

“If they want to see how to move on, they should look at him because he is brilliant.

“He has worked so hard at Saints and (Northampton Academy manager) Mark Hopley also deserves a lot of credit because he has worked really hard with Lewis.”

Jones will name his final 31-man World Cup party, next month.