AN impromptu chat over a beer is not the most conventional route into international sport, but for Archie van Dijk it led to a Netherlands call-up.

The 19-year-old had just played against Oxford University in their annual fixture against a Major Stanley’s XV at Iffley Road.

Upon joining his fellow players after the game, van Dijk started speaking to one of the spectators, who was from the Netherlands and suggested the teenager should get in touch with the national team.

“It was a bit random,” said the Henley back, who qualifies due to his mother being half-Dutch.

“There was a guy from the Netherlands who happened to be over.

“They didn’t know I was Dutch, we had a beer and he told me to get in contact.

“I sent some footage over and they were impressed. I had a trial and did well.

“It was strong competition, rugby over there is getting bigger and bigger.”

That November afternoon resulted in the Oxford-based player making his debut for the Under 20 side on February 10 in a 42-10 defeat by Portugal in Lisbon.

And a try-scoring performance has put him in contention to be selected for the Rugby Europe Under 20 Championship on April 7-15.

Van Dijk will now meet up with the squad for a training camp in Amsterdam next month, but he did more than just catch the eye of his age group coaches.

He said: “After the Portugal game, they said they wanted me to train with the seniors.

“It’s great, but my target is to make the squad for the Europeans and work my way up from there.

“I started at full back and they had a few injuries so reshuffled and put me on the wing and I scored an easy try.

“We did not get the result we wanted, but I enjoyed it – it was a good 40 minutes.”

Van Dijk, who works at the Bat & Ball pub in Cuddesdon, has also played for Oxford Harlequins and Grove.

He believes his move to Henley – where he is playing for the second XV Bulls side – has helped his improvement.

Van Dijk said: “I feel like I have developed on and off the pitch.

“I’ve become more vocal which I feel I showed over in Lisbon.

“Pete Davies (Henley Hawks head coach) has helped me a lot, so has Andy Jones who runs the Bulls.”