|Weight||102kg (16st 0lb)|
Playing 27 games in 2010-11, his Harlequins’ debut season, illustrates the consistency of Joe Gray, who began with the Nottingham Academy before switching to Northampton Saints for 2007-08 when he was an ever present member of the England U20 Grand Slam winning side.
A bright prospect in the middle of the front row, he made his England Saxons’ debut against the USA at Franklin’s Gardens on June 4 2011 when he left the field through injury after 52 minutes to be replaced by David Paice. He played off the bench for Paice in the other two Churchill Cup matches, including the final that brought a 37-6 triumph over Canada at Worcester.
His early career had been interrupted in 2006 by 13 months’ absence through knee surgery but he then made his Saints’ debut in the opening National League One (now Championship) match against London Welsh as the club launched an invincible season on the way to an immediate Premiership return.
Educated at South Nottingham College and a former Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire U18 player, he was understudy, along with Brett Sharman, to England’s Dylan Northampton and played his first competitive match for Harlequins against Calvalieri Prato in the Amlin Challenge Cup on October 16, 2010.
With pleasing symmetry, he appeared in his last game of the season – and a full 80 minutes - for the club when they beat Stade Francais 19-18 in the cup final at the City of Cardiff Stadium on May 20, 2011. He had also won a Guinness A League medal with the Saints and has now made 35 Premiership appearances, 17 of them for Harlequins in four seasons. His overall match aggregate for Harlequins is 52, with five tries and he played in both midweek games for England against the South African Barbarians South and North sides in June this year.
Last updated: June 26, 2012