From bulking up to breakthrough awards
Who is Tommy Freeman: Ten things you should know about the England wing
Tommy Freeman made the step up to the England set-up in the 2021-22 season having consistently impressed in the back three for Northampton Saints.
Ten things you should know about Tommy Freeman
1. Tommy Freeman was born in Oxford on 5 March 2001.
2. He grew up supporting Harlequins, going to matches at the Stoop with his father, and first played rugby at Wymondham RFC.
3. He joined the Northampton Academy during the 2018-19 campaign and made his debut for the club the following season against Bristol Bears in the Gallagher Premiership.
He had previously been part of the academy set-up at Leicester Tigers but was released aged 16.
4. He told The Times that he put on 16kg in two years, saying: “I came in quite light and lanky, I needed to put a bit of weight on to match the physicality. I went from 83kg to 99kg.”
5. At the end of the 2020-21 season, he was named Northampton’s Breakthrough Player of the Year.
6. Primarily a full-back, Freeman can also play on the wing and has been tipped to be even more versatile.
“Tommy played a lot of his rugby at a non-rugby school as a fly-half,” then Northampton director of rugby Chris Boyd said in 2022. “I think he could play anywhere in the backs apart from half-back. I don’t know where the ceiling is but potentially it’s high.”
7. He was first called into the England set-up in October 2021 ahead of the Autumn Nations Series.
Eddie Jones has described him as “a big, strong, strapping lad with good pace and a good feel for the game”.
8. He was nominated for the Premiership’s Discovery of the Season award in 2021-22 but lost out to London Irish’s Henry Arundell.
9. Freeman played at full-back for England in an uncapped match against the Barbarians at Twickenham in June 2022. The hosts lost 52-21.
10. He was then picked in the squad for the three-Test tour of Australia and was named on the wing to win his first cap in the second match against the Wallabies in Brisbane.
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