Grayson savouring double responsibility at Saints

James Grayson kicked well for the Wanderers last weekend (picture: Dave Ikin)
James Grayson kicked well for the Wanderers last weekend (picture: Dave Ikin)

James Grayson is revelling in the challenge of switching between Saints and Wanderers action.

The talented 20-year-old has been skippering the second string at Franklin's Gardens in recent weeks, while also impressing for the first team.

Grayson has made 17 appearances for Saints this season, starting 11 of those matches.

He won the Premiership Rugby Cup breakthrough player award and the man of the match prize after steering Saints to glory against Saracens at the Gardens last month.

He was back in first-team action recently, landing the last-gasp conversion that sealed a 20-19 victory at Harlequins, keeping Saints' Gallagher Premiership play-off hopes alive.

Grayson then strutted his stuff for the Wanderers last Saturday as they earned a 38-28 win against Leicester Tigers to book a place in the Premiership Rugby Shield semi-finals.

"The last few years it's been almost without question that we'd be in the semi-finals but we've had to work a bit harder for it this year," Grayson said.

"Coming down to the last game last Saturday we needed a point from it and we managed to get five.

"It was nice to stick it out and have another opportunity to get some more silverware.

"This competition is to get the young boys coming through and to give boys who are short of game time an opportunity.

"It's shown that if you play well here you're going to get an opportunity for the first team and thankfully the boys have taken their chance."

The Wanderers will now travel to Saracens Storm on May 6 for a final-four tie as they look to keep their chances of winning a third successive title alive.

Grayson could also have first-team duties to attend to in the coming weeks as he continues to compete with Dan Biggar at fly-half.

"I'm in a difficult period of when Dan's not here I'm first choice and when he's not, I'm not really involved so it's about getting my head around being in the first team and then coming back to the Wanderers and taking control of the second team," Grayson said.

"But it's a good challenge for me and it's something I'm enjoying.

"It's difficult because we obviously have lads on loan as guest players for the Wanderers so not everyone knows the detail, whereas in the first team boys know everything because they've trained it all week.

"For the Wanderers you get a lad come in who you've never played with or trained with so it's different but I'm enjoying having a leadership role in it."

Grayson pulled the strings against Leicester last Saturday as the Wanderers overcame a 21-14 half-time deficit to pick up a bonus-point win against their rivals.

And Grayson said: "We love beating them - even more so at home in the sun.

"A few people could enjoy a couple of beers on Saturday and it was positive.

"It was nice to see so many people here."