An opportunist try in the 2015 Premiership final at Twickenham summed up the multiple talents of Jamie George, who had been called into the 50-strong England RWC training squad the previous day in place of Dylan Hartley. He pounced on a loose pass, gathered the ball and ran 35 metres to the Bath line. It took Saracens into a 12-point lead and one that became unassailable.
His side duly won the title for the second time and Jamie had also been an integral part of the squad that had lifted the silverware four years earlier. A third Premiership triumph followed for Saracens and Jamie when they beat Exeter Chiefs 28-20 at Twickenham in May last year. Educated at Haileybury and the son of Ian, a former Northampton Saints, London Welsh and Barbarians scrum half, he made his Test debut off the bench for Tom Youngs after 48 minutes of the match against France in Paris in August 2015. His first RWC appearance was against Uruguay two months later and he started all three Tests for the British & Irish Lions against the All Blacks last summer. His highlights included the powerful carry and break leading to Conor Murray’s try that took the side towards a 24-21 victory at Wellington.
He had graduated through the England U16, U18, U20 and Saxons teams and played against Ireland Wolfhounds and Scotland A in 2014. Born in Welwyn Garden City, Jamie first laced up his boots when five at Hertford RFC, poached three tries in four games for England U18, went on to appear 20 times for the U20 side and played in the Junior World Championship in 2009 and 2010. He captained London & South-East U16 and the Saracens A team, the Storm.
Richard Hill, the former England back row forward and Mike Hynard have mentored him at Saracens, where he also appreciates the input of South African hooker Schalk Brits. Jamie says: “He is a fantastic role model. I admire his approach to life and rugby and I have so much to learn from him. My mum, dad and twin brothers are also a massive inspiration to me.”
He has now played in 122 Premiership games for Saracens and scored 19 tries, six of them last season, and three against Wasps at Allianz Park this October. His stand-out performances in 2014/15 include one against Leicester Tigers in which he made 17 tackles, despite a gruelling scrummaging experience against a formidable front row.
Hard labour is his watchword not only in the tight but also around the field. His roaming instincts took him into a position to provide Chris Wyles with a try-scoring pass against Bath at Twickenham in the 2015 Premiership final. As for his own touchdown, he said: “I was just looking for someone else to pass the ball to. I was aware there were people around me and the line couldn’t come quick enough.” He also showed his footballing skills with a grubber kick that set up a try for his Saracens club mate Owen Farrell to secure England’s victory in the second Test at Melbourne in June last year. Then he scored a try of his own – his first for England - by pouncing instinctively on a ricochet over the line in Sydney only 155 seconds after replacing Dylan Hartley.
Jamie had also illustrated his ability as a link man when sending over Farrell for a sumptuous team try that took England towards a 40-9 win over Italy in Rome in February last year before missing the Wales game the following month after rupturing a tendon in his bicep. When making his first start for England – against Samoa at Twickenham this November - Jamie’s world-record sequence of 18 consecutive appearances off the bench came to an end.
5 points - 1T
2015 F(R), I(R) World Cup - U(R) 2016 S(R), It(R), I(R), A(2R,3R), SA(R), Fj(R), Arg(R), A(R) 2017 F(R), W(R), It(R), S(R), I(R), Arg(R), A(R), Sam 2018 It(R), W(R)
Lions: 2017 NZ(1,2,3)
Last updated: 12 February 2018