England U20 call-up for former Stamford fly-half Louis Grimoldby

GUILDFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 9: Louis Grimoldby of England during the England Under 20 Training and Squad Photocall at Surrey Sports Park on December 9, 2013 in Guildford, England. (Photo by Tom Shaw - RFU via Getty Images)

GUILDFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 9: Louis Grimoldby of England during the England Under 20 Training and Squad Photocall at Surrey Sports Park on December 9, 2013 in Guildford, England. (Photo by Tom Shaw - RFU via Getty Images)

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A fly-half who first learnt to play rugby as a five-year-old at Stamford RFC before excelling at Stamford School has been called up by England under-20s.

Louis Grimoldby, 19, who grew up at his family home in Normanton, has been selected for the England under-20s squad to play the Six Nations.

Grimoldby, who joined Aviva Premiership side Harlequins’ academy straight from Stamford School in 2012, said: “It is a massive honour and it is every young rugby players’ dream.

“My long-term ambition is to go on and play for the full senior side. But before that hopefully I will play in the Six Nations and then be part of the squad for the U20 World Championships in New Zealand this summer.”

As so often is the case, Grimoldby is the son of a former professional, Nic, who played rugby league.

When the family moved to the area Nic took his son to join Stamford RFC.

He played through the age groups up until under-17s when he began to attract the attention of the top senior sides in the country.

Stamford colts coach Peter Noland said: “Even as a five-year-old he stood out. His hand-eye co-ordination was so good and his confidence to play. This continued through-out the years.

“We had probably the strongest age group at Stamford that the club has had for years. We have had 11 playing representative rugby from our team.

“However, for all the good players, Louis stood out as having the complete skill set. He has got it all, good handling, kicking, and tackling; and great confidence to play.

“For both the club and our year group it is great to see local players progress to the highest levels.”

Noland said players like Grimoldby are a credit to the club and reflect its immensely strong youth section.

Noland said: “The junior section is regularly producing boys going on to play for international honours and it is now one of the strongest youth sections in the East Midlands.”

Grimoldby also excelled on the pitch for his 
school, captaining Stamford School to a highly successful season in 2011.

Director of sport at Stamford School David Laventure said: “He always showed great understanding of the game – even making his First XV debut away at Oakham School in Year 11.

“He didn’t look out of place and made significant contribution in creating the winning score.

“He lacked some physicality and power in the lower age groups but mentally always made good decisions and wanted to facilitate the play of those around him. This was noticed by many coaches especially those who watched him when we toured New Zealand with the First XV.”

Laventure said what marks him out is he is highly coachable, listens and acts upon advice and, like so 
many of the greats, has 
a great work ethic.

Laventure said: “We would always find him out on the First XV pitch as it grew dark, practising his kicking – he has a great attitude to life which is reflected in the confidence he has on the pitch.”

The Stamford School rugby coach believes Grimoldby is at a great club to develop, learning from former All Black Nick Evans at Harlequins.

Laventure added: “It’s always fantastic to see boys fulfilling their potential in whatever walk of life and he deserves it. Just as importantly, it’s brilliant for those boys currently in the school to see just where hard work can get you.

“It’s brilliant when Louis pops back to chat to the boys or to run out with the Year 7s – it’s inspirational for them to see anything is possible.”