Find out more about the latest member of the Grayson production line
Hotshot: England U20 centre Ethan Grayson
Date of birth 15 April 2002 Born Northampton Position Centre Club Northampton Saints Country England
How old were you when you started rugby?
Five or six, at Old Northamptonians. My dad (ex-England fly-half Paul Grayson) took me and my twin brother down. My older brother (Northampton’s James) was there too.
Are you all quite competitive?
We’re uber competitive at everything!
Did you play any other sports?
For me, it was rugby in the winter, basketball and cricket in the summer. Northampton School for Boys had a good basketball programme and I went to America with that when I was 13 or 14. I think a lot of basketball skills transfer to rugby; it’s helped my offloading and ball transfer.
Any childhood heroes?
It’s a boring answer but my old man. Me and my twin brother are big fans of Jason Robinson too, watching highlights on YouTube.
What positions have you played?
I started at full-back, then went to 13, played fly-half a lot through school and scrum-half when we were short. I’d never played on the wing until my Premiership Cup debut. When I was 16, my primary position became 12. I prefer 12 as it’s more ball-playing, distribution. It suits me.
What are your strengths?
I read the game pretty well, my distribution and I’ve worked on my ball-carrying. Defence is a constant work-on for me. Jordan (Turner-Hall) has been helping me and Tom Litchfield with that with the U20s. We both want to make that a strength.
How have you found the U20s set-up?
I’ve loved it. It’s nice to have a change of environment, meet new coaches and I’m learning all the time.
Who are your biggest influences?
Definitely my dad. He can give truly honest feedback as he’s not afraid to hurt my feelings.
Also Norman Barker. He passed away a couple of years ago but was my first coach at NSB and anyone who went to NSB would know the impact he had. Phil Beaumont picked up from there too.
RW Verdict: The latest member of the Grayson rugby production line, Ethan has been part of the Northampton set-up since he was 13 and says he’s the more physical player in the family. He’s hoping to make his Premiership debut this season.
This article originally appeared in the April 2022 edition of Rugby World.
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