Riley earns England call-up

A WILTSHIRE teenager has received an England call-up – for his second sport.

Riley Ellis (pictured) will represent his country at billiards in the Home Internationals in Leeds from August 11-12.

But the 18-year-old accomplished snooker player from Clyffe Pypard admitted that the three-ball game has always been just a sideline for him.

Ellis said: “I’ve always taken billiards as a second sport and a bit of fun so when I received the email inviting me to represent my country it was very much a surreal moment and not something I’d thought of ever doing.

“I feel extremely proud to be given the opportunity to wear the three-lions (badge) on my chest and I look forward to playing at the Northern Snooker Centre very much.”

Ellis, who is sponsored by Swindon-based Save On Tyres, was selected for the England C team after finishing in fourth place on the 2021/22 Junior Billiards Tour.

Last year he became one of the youngest snooker coaches in the country when he passed his Grade 1 World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association exam.

And earlier this year he won the Eastleigh & District Under-19 snooker title at Chandlers Ford Snooker Club, near Southampton, for a record fifth time in succession.

Ellis will be joined by two Chandlers Ford clubmates in Leeds. Steven Hughes, who finished top of the Junior Billiards Tour rankings, will captain the C team. And English Under-14 Championship runner-up O’Shay Scott has been selected for the Under-16 B snooker side.

Two more of last season’s Cuestars members have been called up. Ryan Mears is in the England A billiards team and Dylan Smith is part of the England Under-16 A snooker side.