A NUMBER of county stars are marking their mark on the international rugby stage.

The world's media may be on the British & Irish Lions' tour of New Zealand, but some Herefordshire players are showing that they have the potential to have successful careers as well.

Will Butler, who went to Hereford Cathedral School, is currently in Georgia for the Junior World Cup and is part of an England side that has made the semi-finals.

The 19-year-old centre plays for Worcester Warriors and scored a cracking try against Wales.

"Will came through the age groups with England and has another year in the Under-10 side," said John Escott, who is president of North Midlands Schools and Herefordshire Schools and a life member of England Schools.

"Training with the First XV at Worcester Warriors has been a great learning curve for Will, wo actually played for the First XV in a European game in Moscow as an 18-year-old."

Escott spent many years at the Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School coaching many of the county's rising young players.

Two of his former pupils have had a full season playing for England at Under-18 level.

Aaron Hinkley is now at Gloucester as a flanker, while James Scott is being coached at Worcester.

Scott has played in the second row having won his first cap for the under-16s while still at Bishop's.

Both Hinkley and Scott have starred in many wins for England, but lost out to Wales.

One of the players who spoilt the party was former John Kyrle High School pupil Morgan Nelson, who is now at Hartpury.

Nelson was the hooker for Wales and last season was in Escott's Herefordshire Schools Presidents XV which beat the Boys Club of Wales in their Golden Jubilee year.

And it's not just the men who are marking their mark.

Former Bishop's pupil Laura Keates has also had a successful career for England Ladies.

The 28-year-old, who plays for Worcester Valkyries, played in all of England's five wins in this season's Six Nations tournament and she even scored a try against Ireland in her 60th appearance.

Keates started playing rugby at the Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School and joined Hereford from Greyhound before moving on to Worcester.

She went on to captain England at under-19 and under-20 levels before gaining the first of her senior caps.

Keates was a member of the England team that won the World Cup in 2014, beating Canada in the final, and will be looking to be picked for this year's tournament in Ireland after missing out on a three-match tour of New Zealand.

One of her England coaches is former Bishop's School pupil Scott Bemand, who went on to play for Harlequins and Leicester.

"Scotty was my scrum-half at Bishop's in 1995 for the First XV that I took on a four-match winning tour to Canada," added Escott.

"He went on to captain England Students, which also featured former Hereford Cathedral School winger Adam Billig.

"Adam is still the most capped Herefordshire Schools international we have had.

"I am so proud of these young Herefordians.

"What an honour for them and they are great ambassadors for our county."

* One player who is part of the England Ladies' team in New Zealand is former Haberdashers Monmouth School for Girls pupil Izzy Noel-Smith, who used to play for Greyhound.