Gary Graham’s rapid rise culminated in a call-up to the senior England squad for the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations but given the fine rugby stock that the flanker comes from, perhaps his ascent shouldn’t be such a surprise.
Graham had only been playing top-flight rugby for less than five months by the time of the call, having joined Newcastle Falcons from Greene King IPA Championship side Jersey Reds in the summer of 2017.
The back-rower is now following in the footsteps of his father George by earning international selection – Graham Sr. played 25 times as a prop for Scotland between 1997 and 2002.
Gary – a nimble ball-carrier and a tenacious defender – himself played for Scotland U20 before switching allegiances to England and earning a place in Eddie Jones’ 34-man group for a training camp in Brighton in December 2017.
The following month came his inclusion in the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations squad, all of which followed a slew of impressive performances for a Falcons side enjoying one of their best Aviva Premiership seasons in recent memory.
Graham made 40 appearances during his two-and-a-half seasons at Jersey to earn a move to Newcastle – the team his father won the Premiership title with during the 1997-98 season.
Born in Stirling, he first played for Gala RFC before turning out for Carlisle RFC and his Scotland U20 career included appearances in the 2012 Under-20s Six Nations and the 2012 IRB Junior World Championship.