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RUGBY: A change of plan
THE GIBSONS may have been forced to change their plans for their upcoming summer break – but eldest son Jamie is not in too much trouble with his family for cancelling after his shock call-up for England’s tour of South Africa.
The 21-year-old London Irish back row, whose family live in Mildenhall, only made his debut for Stuart Lancaster’s side in their win over the Barbarians at Twickenham on May 27.
But five days later, Gibson’s plans to jet out to Italy with mum Ninna, dad Martin, sister Alicia, 20, and brother Robert, 18, were shelved as he was called up to the touring party to replace the injured Joe Launchbury.
The former Marlborough College captain, pictured right, who has made 20 appearances for Irish this season, is now gearing up for the challenge of the Springboks, leaving mother Ninna a proud parent.
“He called home on the Friday to tell us the news. It’s fantastic and amazing,” she said.
“There was so little time for him because he was due to fly out in 24 hours. His first job was to rush out to Tottenham Court Road (in London) to pick up some new boots because his pair had split.
“We were expecting him home because we were going to Rome for our first family holiday in about five years.
“It’s been hard to organise with his brother and sister’s schedules at university – but of course we’re not mad at him. He’s getting the chance to live out his dream.”
The England rookie is midway through studying for a degree in Classics at Oxford University after deferring the second half of his third year to concentrate on his rugby.
His mum added: “He was due to sort out what he was doing next with his university course and that will have to wait too now.
“I was never really a rugby fan before he started playing but I watch now because of Jamie. We all love sport but there wasn’t really any rugby background in the family before him.’’ England’s first clash with South Africa is on June 16.