|Weight||99.5kg (15st 9lb)|
Sam Underhill, the Gloucester U18 Academy captain this season for 2013-14, was the BMW Man of the Match and a try-scorer on his debut when England beat Scotland 28-6 at Dalziel RFC in March this year and went on to lead the national side to their FIRA/AER European Championship title in Poland the following month. He is taking A-levels in biology, English and maths at Sir Thomas Rich’s School in Gloucester, having attended Longthorpe Primary School in Peterborough.
His first senior match for Gloucester was against London Wasps in the LV=Cup in February this year and he previously played for Longlevens from 2009-2013. He was born in Dayton, Ohio where his father Greg was stationed in the RAF but the family moved back to England where Sam grew up.
Greg played for Harlequins Colts, Stroud RFC, Bath University, Harlequins and had an England trial while Sam’s great uncle, Bernard Capaldi, a flanker, appeared for Cheltenham, Coventry and Bristol as well as playing four times for the Barbarians in 1967-68.
Sam first laced up his boots at secondary school when 11 and said: “I owe a lot to Rhys Williams, Chris Carter and Rhys Davies, my coaches at school. Peter Buxton, Geraint Davies and Simon Lane, the Gloucester U18 coaches, have also helped me greatly. My dad never pushed me towards playing but when I did he was the one who most helped to develop me. He taught me to enjoy the game.”
He represented Gloucestershire U15 and U16 and the South-West U16 teams, alongside England U16 and U17, captained his school and led England U17 against France U17. He toured New Zealand with his school last year – “an immense experience” – and was a No.8 at U16 level before his switch to open side flanker.
Two of his sisters, Sally and Rachael, are both cross country runners and another sister, Lucy, is running in the New York Marathon. He said: “We’re a very competitive family.” Sam hopes to study economics at university. Meanwhile, his most admired players are Richie McCaw, David Pocock, the recently-retired Andy Hazell and Julian Salvi.
U18 International Record
5 points – 1T
2014 S, W, F(R) FIRA/AER – P(R), W, I
Last updated: May 21, 2014