A second son of Paul Grayson is following in his father’s footsteps at Northampton after 18-year-old Ethan joined the Saints senior academy set-up for 2020/21. Older brother James has already made quite a splash at Franklin’s Gardens, forcing his way into Chris Boyd’s first-team. 

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Now midfield-playing Ethan is one of six youngsters joining the senior academy at the club where Paul still does some kicking coaching following a stellar career that included being part of the England squad that won the 2003 World Cup.  

Speaking about bringing the latest Grayson into the fold, Northampton’s head of academy Mark Hopley said: “Ethan has played a bit of fly-half for his development, but he is a player who definitely prefers the physicality of playing at centre.

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Northampton out-half Dan Biggar guests on the latest episode of The Rugby Pod, the chart-topping show fronted by Andy Goode and Jim Hamilton

“He carries and distributes well, which is what I like in a player and is a pretty straight-talking lad. We’ve known about his attributes and skill-set for a long time and we are confident he is someone who will thrive in our environment.”

Grayson caught the eye in recent years for Northampton School for Boys and Old Northamptonians. He was also capped by England Under-18s in South Africa last year and was selected again by them again before the coronavirus pandemic saw the side’s summer schedule cancelled.

The other players who have all put pen to paper on their first full-time contracts after impressing as part of Saints’ junior academy are Callum Burns, Tom Litchfield, Dani Long-Martinez, Edward Prowse, and Kayde Sylvester. 

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Hopley added: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming these six lads next year, taking our number of contracted players in the senior academy group to 15.

“The critical thing for them learning how to be a professional in this first year; it’s obviously a step up physically from junior and school rugby, but I believe what we have at Saints is a really positive learning environment.

“The players are fully integrated with the senior squad, so they are learning habits, behaviours and skill-sets from some of the best players in the world on a daily basis, which really accelerates their learning.”

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