Winning selection for England’s tour of Argentina in June 2017 came exactly four weeks to the day after Piers Francis signed for Northampton Saints.
He produced an impressive display in his first Test appearance against the Pumas at San Juan – a match England won 38-34.
His standout moment was an exchange of passes with fly-half George Ford, who ran 35 metres for a try that brought the scores level at 31-31.
Piers marked his first start the following week at Santa Fe with a maiden try that helped England to a 2-0 series win. His third cap, and Twickenham debut, was in the triumph over Samoa that November.
After scoring twice in defeat to the Barbarians in May 2018, Piers was called up to the England squad to tour South Africa that summer, making a single appearance off the bench in the first Test.
The Saints recruited Piers from Auckland Blues but he was born in Gravesend, Kent, played for Maidstone and moved to New Zealand in 2009 – having served a three-year apprenticeship with Saracens’ academy.
He stayed in the Antipodes for two years, appearing for Waikato and the Chiefs Wider Training Group before returning to the UK to join Edinburgh on a two-year contract.
Piers spent eight months on the sidelines through a foot injury and after a brief spell with Greene King IPA Championship club Doncaster Knights returned to New Zealand to play for Counties Manukau.
His eye-catching performances for Tana Umaga’s side brought him selection for the Blues before he won the franchise’s rookie of the year award.
His communication, fitness and physicality impressed and, after five rounds without a game, he started 11 consecutive games and took over goal-kicking duties, scoring 36 points in three matches before earning a move to Northampton.
5 points - 1T
2017 Arg (1,2), Sam(R) 2018 SA (1R)
Last updated: 27 June 2018