England Rugby World Cup star used World War Two A-level loophole for exams

Earl and England look ahead to Rugby World Cup semi-final

England Rugby World Cup star Jamie George previously admitted that he only passed his A-levels due to a World War Two loophole that meant he didn’t have to sit any exams. The Saracens hooker is playing at his third Rugby World Cup after also being selected for the 2015 and 2019 tournaments.

George has been a key player for England at the tournament in France and started three pool matches as his country finished top of the pile. The 32-year-old was also named in the starting line-up for last weekend’s quarter-final victory over Fiji.

George has always possessed the pedigree to flourish at the top of the game, and his talents were recognised by the England age group selectors when he was named in the squad for the 2009 Junior World Championship.

George’s inclusion meant he was forced to miss his A-level exams as the tournament fell at the same time as the academic tests were due to take place. But his teacher mother Jane came across a hack that meant he could pass his final year of school without even turning up.

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“I was in Japan during the time of my A-levels,” George said in 2019. “I got given my coursework grades as there was a loophole in the system that dated back to the war. So during the time of exams, you were given your coursework grades if you were on international duty. I got two As and a C.

“But the issue was that only two of my subjects had coursework and the other one, Philosophy, you sat an extra paper. The school were really good and said they would take on a coursework paper for me. I had two days to do it and I got a C, so I’ll take that. My mates were fuming.”

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George is one of the most decorated players in the Premiership, having helped Saracens win six league titles and three Champions Cups. He has won 83 caps for England and was also part of the British & Irish Lions squads that toured New Zealand in 2017 and South Africa in 2021.

And ahead of the Rugby World Cup knockout stages, the front rower said: “Early on in my career I tried to feel a certain way or tried to be perceived to be feeling a certain way or tried to shy away from emotions. I don’t see why you need to do that.

“We’ve got the space to speak to people, we’ve got a really open group and if people are nervous then that’s fine or if people are excited then that’s the fine, but the most important thing for us is focusing on each week and that’s something we’ve done really well.”

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