Alex Dombrandt says it was a very special moment to follow the footsteps of fellow Croydon boy Elliot Daly into the big England international stage, writes Ziad Chaudry.

The 22-year-old made the perfect dream debut in a Roses shirt at Twickenham Stadium last Sunday by scoring two tries during the hosts highly entertaining 51-43 victory over the Barbarians.

"Playing with The Roses was a special moment for me I will never forget," said the former John Fisher Purley school kid who spoke exclusively to Croydon Guardian about how himself and Daly, who went to Whitgift School and will be playing for Gallagher Premiership Champions Saracens next season, both progressed to international level and believes other local youngsters can follow their footsteps.

"I remember as a young John Fisher lad watching Elliot play for Whitgift School when he was a few years older than me," Dombrandt continued. "And obviously to see how we both progressed and gone into the international stage is definitely inspiring to see that local boys have made that big step and journey up so that's one that every kid wants to grow up and try to inspire to be."

And Dombrandt who played alongside fellow Harlequins clubmates Joe Marchant and highly-regarded Marcus Smith for England believes John Fisher and Whitgift School have got a highly glowing reputation for producing such rich sporting talent in and around the Croydon area.

Victor Moses, Martyn Rooney, Wilfried Zaha and upcoming boxing star Joshua Buatsi who beat Marco Periban in New York, USA last Saturday are just a few of the many local talents.

"You look at the schools and you got Whitgift and the school I went to John Fisher," Dombrandt added. "They are very good schools for sport. I was generally interested to go to those schools. If you want to develop and improve as a player and obviously get the academics as well then I think going to those good quality schools with good quality reputations is the way forward."