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A second son of 2003 World Cup winner Paul Grayson has earned Northampton deal

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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

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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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Shaylen 9 hours ago
Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it

The Brumbies have been the strongest side in Australia for a long time and that was down to their forwards and set piece which has always been good and has always been able to dominate their Australian counterparts. This year the lack of maul tries and also the lack of a stable scrum has been a real problem which was also something Nick alluded to in his article this week about the creaking brumbies tight five. Home advantage is key as you say and the Brumbies must find a way to score more bonus points. If the Brumbies are really serious about winning a title they need to do what Kiwi sides at the top do. They need to smash every Aus side with a bonus point at home while claiming losing bonus points in every game they lose and denying their rivals bonus points. In their 3 losses in NZ this year they were smashed. They only scored 60 tries which is middle of the road, their scrum came in at 73% which was one of the worst in the comp, tackle success at just 83% which was right at the bottom and in terms of metres, clean breaks, carries, offloads and rucks built they were in the middle plus they had the most yellows. They basically were just not dominant enough wile they can improve their discipline. They excelled at kicking and won plenty of lineout ball plus their rucks were secure at 97%. Not sure about turnovers but they weren’t bad there. They just need to be more clinical and give away less and they will give themselves the best chance to win the title.

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