BUCKDEN’S young rugby player George Furbank will be part of Northampton Saints under-18s squad this season as he continues on his path to Aviva Premiership stardom.

The 16-year-old former Huntingdon Stag has been attending the academy at Northampton, who are sixth in the sport's top division, for several years, and is only one step away from earning a trainee contract with the club.

"That would be the dream," said Furbank. "I've always wanted to play professional rugby for Northampton. I have followed them for a long time and I really like the club.

"I was in the school of rugby at Northampton and one of the club's coaches spotted me at one of the training sessions. They took me into the academy the year after that. They're one of the biggest clubs in the country and finish in the top four most seasons."

It was at Huntingdon that Furbank, who is also a member of the Midlands under-16s squad, learned his game. His father, Tim Furbank, is the Midlands Two East South club's president, and it was he who first took George to train with the Stags at the age of six.

"My dad got me into rugby," said Furbank. "He brought me down for the under-7s and I have been playing ever since. I learned all about rugby as a Stag. Huntingdon is one of the best clubs around."

The Kimbolton School pupil made his debut for the Saints' academy side as a 14-year-old in March 2011. He was a fly-half then, now he is a centre for the Saints.

In 2011 he told The Hunts Post: "I was so proud to be wearing the Saints kit, it was a real honour. Playing for the Saints was a great experience and, one day, I would love to turn out for the senior team."

Twenty-one months later, he is fast closing in on that very dream.

Meanwhile, Huntingdonshire rugby took a break for Christmas but returns this weekend when Huntingdon & District take on Bugbrooke at The Racecourse.

Still top of the Midlands Two East South table, despite two league defeats in the run-up to the festive period, Stags will be hoping to begin 2013 on a high as they continue to target the title, and promotion to the Midlands One East division.

In Midlands Four East South, second-placed St Ives are at home to Wellingborough on Saturday, while fifth-placed St Neots entertain bottom-of-the-table Stamford College Old Boys. As long as the weather doesn't play a part, of course.