|Weight||107kg (16st 11lb)|
|IRB World Series||7 events|
A distinguished record in age group rugby pointed Alex Gray towards the top level and a new career as a full-time England Sevens player. His IRB World Series debut was in Dubai in November 2013 and he scored a maiden try in his second match against the USA on the way to England’s fourth-place finish. His second touchdown was against Uruguay in the Las Vegas event in January this year and he has since added three more overall in Glasgow and at Twickenham.
Alex led England U16, U18 and U20 to Grand Slams and signed his first professional contract for Newcastle Falcons at the age of 17.
He stayed with them until 2011, playing in eight Premiership matches, before appearing at Number 8 for two seasons with London Irish and adding another 18 Premiership games. Alex joined the England Sevens group for 2013-14, adding extra resources to the squad, and played in all the past four tournaments in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Glasgow and London.
Alex’s experience includes captaining the England U20 side that featured Owen Farrell, Joe Launchbury and Mako Vunipola and reached the final of the 2011 IRB Junior Championship, which they lost 33-25 to New Zealand in Padova.
Born in Bishop Auckland, he was educated at Barnard Castle School, was player of the year for England in the U16 and U18 age groups and expanded his rugby horizons by spending six months in New Zealand with the Canterbury U20 squad.
Alex has toured Australia, Argentina and South Africa with England teams and won the admiration of John Fletcher, the England U18 coach and former Newcastle Falcons director of rugby.
He said: “You don’t want to put undue pressure on anyone with bold predictions but he is a top talent. He’s ready for the step up but of course will need to work hard while he handles it.”
Alex began playing with West Hartlepool when six years old, has appeared for Darlington Mowden Park and appreciates the backing received from Fletcher and fellow National Academy coach Peter Walton, Barnard Castle School coach Martin Pepper and Mark Laycock, the Falcons Academy coach. He describes Ian Peel, the interim England U20 assistant coach and ex-Falcons and Wharfedale prop, as “my life mentor”.
Last updated: May 16, 2014