The ability to play in several positions across the Bath backs has made Ollie Devoto a hot property and in January last year he signed a three-year contract to play for Exeter Chiefs, starting in 2016/17. Ollie had been named as injury cover for Manu Tuilagi in the England squad for the Six Nations a few days earlier and was an unused bench replacement for the opening match against Scotland at Murrayfield. He suffered concussion in an Aviva Premiership match against Wasps a fortnight later.
A newcomer to Bath Academy in July 2012, he made the first of his seven England U20 appearances off the bench for Jack Arnott in the 40-10 win over France in 2013, the year he helped the side to become double winners of the Six Nations and the World Rugby Championships. The following year, he became the LV=Breakthrough Player after recording the best overall statistics for a back during the Anglo-Welsh Cup pool stages. The prize included a £1,000 donation to the club of the player’s choice and he gave it to Sherborne where he played from 2000 to 2009.
He also figured off the bench when the England XV lost 30-29 to a hugely experienced Barbarians XV at Twickenham in June 2014 and won his first cap against Wales in the Old Mutual Wealth Cup at Twickenham in May last year. Ollie was educated at the Gryphon School, Sherborne and Bryanston at Blandford. He represented Dorset & Wilts U16 and U18 and the South West U16 side. His representative honours grew from his formative years when being coached by his father Steve, a Dorset & Wilts centre, at Sherborne. James Gower at Gryphon and Bryanston first-team coaches Mike Pyrgos and Andy Marriott were other important influences.
Yeovil-born Ollie remembers how he used to get butterflies in his stomach when even playing for his school team and was once regarded as an out-and-out fly half before Gary Gold, the Bath head coach at that time, converted him to full back at an important stage of his career. Recalling the moment he was pitched into battle against London Welsh in a pre-season match – opposite a certain Gavin Henson, he said: “It was a big jump and an eye-opener I’ll never forget.”
Last updated: 5 October 2016