|Weight||110kg (17st 4lb)|
Not many players appear at Twickenham in only their second year in the game but Harlow-born Sam James did when playing for the Bishop Stortford U13 side in their 7-0 National Cup final victory over Worcester as a prelude to a Premiership final.
His first national recognition was two appearances for England U17 against France and Scotland two years ago before he played in all three matches for the U18 side on tour in South Africa last summer. Previously a loose head prop, he moved to hooker at U15 level and is now studying history, geography and physical education at Bishop’s Stortford High School where he has captained the first team for two seasons.
A member of Saracens Academy, where he led the U16 side, he has played for Bishop’s Stortford RFC and captained the U16, U17 and U 18 sides. He also represented Hertfordshire U14-U16 and his ambitions are to gain a professional contract, represent England at all levels, obtain a degree in geography and qualify as an accountant.
Since being in the England set up, he has enjoyed having Peter Walton and Ian Peel as mentors. He said: “They have developed my game greatly with specific focus on my scrummaging and line out throwing. Matt Davies, the Saracens Academy manager, has overseen my progress since the U14 age group. Ian Simpson, the master in charge of rugby at the high school, has supported me heavily throughout my time in the game and John Cullen has aided my career at club level.”
His rugby adventures abroad include going to Clermont Auvergne with Bishop’s Stortford RFC and Australia, New Zealand and South Korea last year with his high school squad.
Sam’s personal honours feature the Victor Ludorum Trophy for sportsman of the year at his school in 2011 and the Morrie Morris Trophy this year awarded to the Hertfordshire player making the biggest contribution to schools’ rugby. Kevin Mealamu, Bismarck du Plessis, Rory Best and Jamie George are his favourite players.
U18 International Record
2012 SA Tour – W(R), F, SA(R) 2013 S(R)