|Weight||71kg (11st 2lb)|
As well as making his mark with the England U18 squad, Sam Olver now wants to secure an academy contract with Northampton Saints. He is the Peterborough-born son of Harlequins and Saints’ hooker John Olver, who won three England caps from 1990-92. Sam has played in all the past five games at England U18 level, dating back to his debut against France at Fylde in February this year and scored 26 points, comprising seven conversions, three penalty goals and a dropped goal. He was a member of the squad that became the 2012 European champions in Spain in April.
Sam joined Stamford RFC when he was four, played at scrum half until he was 12 and made his debut for Northampton off the bench for the Wanderers in their 30-5 A league win over Newcastle last November. “I really enjoyed it. The intensity was another level,” said Sam, whose father is rugby master at Oundle School where Olver Jnr is studying art, psychology and sport science and is captain of rugby.
He attended Stamford Junior School and has represented England Schools U18 at cricket against MCC at Lord’s. Sam continued: “Simon Hodgkinson (the former England full back) has also worked with me at Oundle and Alan Dickens has helped me to develop as a player at Franklin’s Gardens. I’m grateful to Dusty Hare as well for originally spotting me and including me in the Northampton Academy. He has also helped enormously with my game.”
Sam toured Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore with his school last year but his most memorable match was against Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield in the Daily Mail Cup quarter finals which Oundle eventually lost. He added: “We were so close to going to Twickenham but didn’t quite make it and the loss was hard to take.
“I try to emulate Johnny Wilkinson’s passion and desire whenever I play. My current favourite international is Dan Carter, of New Zealand, because he makes the game look so easy.”