Since first handling an oval ball when he was five at Windsor RFC, Josh Basham’s playing days have moved on apace.
Born in Wexham, Buckinghamshire, he joined the London Irish Academy at the age of 15, captained the U18 team, along with Wellington College and has also been with Tanglin RFC in Singapore. He won the Daily Mail Trophy in three consecutive years with his school and helped the Irish to lift the Academy League title last year.
Before breaking into the England U18 squad and making his debut in the 43-14 win over France at Aylesbury in March, he had represented his country at U16 and U17 level in the past two years. He was also part of the England U18 squad that toured South Africa in August 2017. Steve Shortland has been Josh’s school coach since he was 15 and his favourite players while growing up were Lawrence Dallaglio and Josh Lewsey. He said: “I liked how he had the same name as me.
“My dad Mark first got me into rugby and used to persuade me to go every Sunday morning, which wasn’t an easy task. Nikki, my mum, drove me selflessly around the country. My proudest moments include the first time I sang the national anthem on the pitch at an England match. Injuring both ankles in my U17 year was a setback because the rehab took a long time.”
Table tennis, basketball and football are the other sports Josh plays and he supports Chelsea. Ben Loader, also of London Irish, is his best rugby-playing friend while his top music is J. Cole, an American hip hop artist, plus current and classic stuff. He enjoys eating chicken pie while watching Suits, Game of Thrones and Peaky Blinders.
5 points - 1T
2017 F(R), S, W, C(R), I, S; SA Tour F(R), W, SA
Last updated: 12 January 2018