Northampton Saints are the latest club to announce their intake to their Senior Academy for the 2016/17 season.
The club today announced that six schoolboys have signed contracts with them, four forwards and four backs.
England U18 fly half James Grayson is perhaps the best known, the son of England and Northampton Saints legend Paul Grayson, he was England U18 fly half this year. The Moulton College pupil has a former Northampton School for Boys pupil and has represented Northampton Saints in the Mobbs Memorial Match.
Joining Grayson as a back recruitment is Tom Emery. Emery is a scrum half but can play in a number of positions in the back line, the pacey youngster is a product of St Joseph’s College, who have provided a number of players for the club in recent times, including Lewis Ludlum, who represented England U20 last year.
In the pack loosehead prop Devante Onojaife joins his elder brother Jordan as a professional at Saints. The former back row forward is from Stowe School and, like Grayson, represented England U18 this year.
Joining Onojaife in that U18 side was tighhead prop Ehren Painter. The Felsted School tighthead could form an all senior academy front row with Onojaife and another man, Royal Hospital School’s Alex Rayment, yet another man to have featured for England U18 this season, Rayment has also represented Northampton Wanderers in the Aviva A League.
The final new addition to the Northampton Saints Senior Academy is yet another front row man, Framlingham College prop Toby Trinder. Like Onojaife he is a back row convert, and has been selected to the England U17 squad.
Speaking to the club website following the announcement of the new intake, Senior Academy Coach Mark Hopley said:
“We’re in the fortunate position to have plenty of competition for places in the Senior Academy, all of the players who are coming in have earned their contracts not just through their ability but also their positive attitude and work ethic throughout their time in the EPDG and Junior Academy.”
“They are all under no illusions that getting a contract is just the beginning; it’s now up to them to continue working hard and show that they deserve a place in our full-time squad.”
It was also announced today that the London Irish Academy will be bolstered by the recruitment of 30 year old star wing Topsy Ojo, who will take on a part time role in the Academy.