Grayson family influence continues to grow at Saints
It’s fair to say that conversations around the dinner table at the Grayson household would be pretty interesting for Saints supporters.
Because not only would club legend Paul Grayson be having his say, but so would three youngsters who appear to have big Franklin’s Gardens futures at their fledgling feet.
James Grayson recently signed his first senior contract at Saints as he follows in his father’s footsteps at fly-half.
And a quick glance at the Academy squad lists will reveal that he is not the only Grayson currently strutting his stuff at Saints.
Twins Ethan and Joel, who are aged 16, are now making their way through the ranks.
Ethan often occupies the No.10 shirt, too, with Joel bucking the trend as he lines up on the wing or at full-back.
“Ethan is a bit more physical than me so he’s probably going to end up in the centres,” explains James, who turns 21 in June.
“Joel is just coming back from injury because he’s had a torn hip flexor and is just coming back to fitness.
“Fingers crossed there will be two of them running around soon.
“They’re both good footballers and obviously they’re still only 16 so there’s still plenty of time to develop.”
With Ethan lining up at 10 in the Academy, James might have to dish out a bit of brotherly advice to stop the pair having to compete in the years to come.
When it is jokingly suggested that his younger brother might steal his shirt one day, James smiles and says: “He probably will get it soon if he carries on. He’s pretty good!
“Joel plays wing and full-back but at that age you don’t really know where you’re going to end up so it’s just about development for those two really.
“They like sitting in and watching rugby on a Friday night with dad and myself so that’s the first step.
“They do ask me about stuff. For me it’s always been about looking up to dad, but now mum says Joel and Ethan get excited when I’m doing something well.
“They thought it was so good I was playing against Clermont recently, whereas I used to get excited about what dad was achieving so it’s shifted a little bit, which is a bit bizarre for mum, I think.
“They’re still at NSB (Northampton School for Boys) in the first team and they should have a pretty good team there next year so they’re looking forward to that.”
Grayson has a real family feel at home and at Franklin’s Gardens, forming a brotherhood with his fellow Academy graduates.
The likes of Fraser Dingwall, Alex Mitchell and Ehren Painter have all recently come to the fore at Saints.
And Grayson is loving being part of a squad of talented young players that he has learned his trade alongside for several years.
“Everyone’s obviously raving about Dingers, and it’s great to see him doing well,” Grayson said.
“When you’ve got boys around you like that, it’s s pretty easy to settle in and steer the ship.
“All the young boys are sticking together for another couple of years and it’s nice to see.
“Credit to the Academy because boys are coming through and it’s nice to see Boydy (Saints boss Chris Boyd) has got faith in us young boys to go and perform, play 80 minutes or come off the bench early.
“You can say it’s a band of brothers because we enjoy each other’s company.
“A lot of boys live together and go for a coffee after most days of training. We play some cards and it’s good.
“If we’ve won on a Saturday then we’ll go out for a beer together so it’s nice.”