It’s all a matter of succession for Northampton native Ollie Sleightholme, who is following in his father’s footsteps by wearing the Red Rose on his chest.
His dad Jon played 12 Tests for England at senior level, scoring four tries, and also had a spell with Northampton Saints, where Ollie is a member of the academy set-up.
He made quite the impact on his senior debut, scoring just 14 seconds after coming on as a replacement in the Premiership clash against Wasps in November 2018.
The teenager, who can play on the wing or as an outside centre, represented England in rugby sevens at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
He helped England all the way to the gold medal match at the Queen Elizabeth Sporting Complex in Nassau and even scored a try but he was unable to prevent his side having to settle for a silver as they were beaten 10-5 by Samoa.
He scored tries at England U18s level and made his U20 debut against Ireland in the 2019 Six Nations. His first try at U20 level came a week later in the win against France, also scoring against Ireland.
Having joined the Saints at the age of 13, Ollie, who counted England lock and clubmate Courtney Lawes as his idol growing up, made strides at senior level in the summer of 2017, featuring for Northampton in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s in July.
Then, in August, he featured in the Saints’ 32-21 pre-season victory over Nottingham.
Naturally, Ollie’s father was a huge influence on his formative rugby career, as he first picked up a ball as a six-year-old at Northampton Old Scouts, while mother Julie also encouraged him to grow his passion for the game.
U20 International record
2019: Ire, Fra (1 try), Wal, Ita (1 try)
Last updated: 11 March 2019