Freddie Steward: former Norwich schoolboy and the new star of English rugby

Freddie Steward’s rise from captaining Norwich school’s first XV to playing for England rugby is mesmerising.

Having only made his debut for the England national team in July, the 20-year old has already lit up the international rugby scene during the Nations Cup this Autumn. Steward put on a world-class display in England’s 27-26 enthralling win over World Cup holders South Africa. The 6 foot 5’s outstanding catching ability and presence gave England much needed safety in the face of an aerial bombardment from South Africa.

Steward’s incredible dealings with high kicks were not the only highlight of the youngster’s mature performance. After an exquisite pass from Marcus Smith, he powered his way through South Africa’s defence to score England’s second try of the match.

The full-back’s ability to turn defence into attack is something which is rarely seen by a player who is still in the infancy of his career, but certainly is something England will relish for years to come. Freddie’s rugby prowess has been on show for the last few years, having played for Premiership club Leicester Tigers since making his debut in January 2019.

However, it was in Norfolk, while a student at Norwich school where he began his rugby career journey. He first played for local rugby clubs, Swaffham and Holt rugby clubs, before going on to captain his first XV schoolboy team at Norwich school. Steward’s rugby development advanced tremendously and he was given his first team debut for Leicester Tigers while still studying for his A-levels.

Steward is surely pushing for a spot in England’s World Cup squad in 2023, albeit he has already established himself as one of England’s brightest future prospects.

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Alex Mann

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May 2022
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