|Weight||75kg (11st 11lb)|
After making his mark with the England U18 squad, Sam Olver secured a professional contract with Northampton Saints in March last year and appeared in four matches during the 2014 U20 Six Nations Championship. He is the Peterborough-born son of former Harlequins and Saints hooker John Olver, who won three England caps from 1990-92. Sam initially played in eight consecutive games at England U18 level dating back to his debut against France at Fylde in 2012. He was a member of the squad that became the European champions in Spain that April and 16 months later landed a last-gasp conversion of Alex Lundberg’s that beat Wales 17-15 on the tour of South Africa.
A member of England’s triumphant 2014 IRB Junior World Championship squad, he landed the penalty goal a minute from the end, his fourth in the match, that beat Argentina 17-16 in a pool game. He scored 28 points in the tournament.
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 a 30-5 A League win over Newcastle. “I really enjoyed it. The intensity was another level,” said Sam, whose father is rugby master at Oundle School where Olver Jnr has been studying art, psychology and sport science and captained the first XV.
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 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.”
U20 International Record
44 points – 13C, 6PG
2014 S(R), I(R), W(R), It World Championship – It, A(R), Arg, I(R)
Last updated: July 3, 2014