Find out more about one of Welsh rugby's rising stars

Who is James Botham: Ten things you should know about the Wales flanker

James Botham made his Wales debut in November 2020 against Georgia in the Autumn Nations Cup and he is not the only sports star in his family.

Find out more about one of Welsh rugby’s rising stars here.

Ten things you should know about James Botham

1. James Botham was born on 22 February 1998 in Cardiff, Wales. He stands at 6ft 2in (188 cm) and weighs 16st 1lb (102kg).

2. He went to Sedbergh School in Cumbria, which has previously been attended by England rugby legends Will Carling and Will Greenwood as well as Wales prop Tomas Francis.

3. Botham signed his first professional contract for Cardiff Blues in 2019.

Who is James Botham’s grandfather?

4. He is the son of rugby league, rugby union and cricket star Liam Botham and the grandson of English cricket legend Lord Ian Botham.

Ahead of James Botham’s match against England in the 2021 Six Nations, Lord Botham spoke of his pride for this grandson.

He told Sky Sports: “I’m actually very happy to pull on that red shirt when they play England because obviously blood is thicker than water.

“I am a proud Englishman, but I go UK for that weekend. It is a UK match. I’m supporting Wales, of course I am. What grandfather wouldn’t? That’s the question I would put to people.”

5. While James could play for both England or Wales, his father has said it was never something they discussed as Botham had never felt anything but Welsh.

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A post shared by James Botham (@james_botham)

6. Botham once interrupted Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones before a match and won’t be repeating the mistake!

He told The XV: “I made the mistake of speaking when he was speaking. It was an accident – and I would never do it again. I was asking a question to one of the other boys about tail-gunning, and he just… stopped. He looked straight at me and said, ‘You alright, Jim?’”

7. Wales coach Wayne Pivac has praised the flanker and said he has a bright future in a red jersey.

He said: “In training, he is a very balanced player. He’s got very good hands and movement with the ball, so he is a good attacking threat as well as a very good defensive player. He is good over the ball, he’s strong and his technique is sound. He’s a confident young man without being over-confident.”

8. Botham has a girlfriend, physiotherapist student and Wales hockey player Izzy Webb.

9. He has two nicknames as his family call him ‘Jimbo’ while he is known as ‘The Duke’ in the Wales squad. Alun Wyn Jones coined the name in reference to his grandfather’s link to the House of Lords.

10. Botham has also played for the Wales U18, U20 and Sevens sides.

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