Breakout Stars Ready To Build On Premiership 7s Success

Sleightholme Burns Around The Edge

The Premiership 7s is where you'll see next year's starters in action, as players such as Harry Mallinder and Lewis Ludlam become first-team regulars, and the likes of 19-year-old Ollie Sleightholme aren't far away.

The good news just keeps on coming for a Northampton club, which excelled in Chris Boyd’s first season in charge, reaching their first Gallagher Premiership Rugby semifinal since the Samu Manoa days of 2015, and winning the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Sleightholme, son of Saints legend Jon, has risen through the ranks at the club and signed on with the Senior Academy at the start of last season, making three Gallagher Premiership Rugby appearances and scoring two tries.

“Last year it was unexpected for me to be put into the first team so I was delighted with that,” said Sleightholme. “It came off the back of an injury which you obviously don’t want for a teammate but I was delighted to play.

“I got my opportunity and made that debut at home against Wasps, came on and it was an amazing feeling. Then I got two other chances after that at Sale away and Newcastle at home, quite a bit of rugby for my first year and I was really chuffed with it."

His performance in the Premiership 7s was key to that. 

Watch The Premiership 7s LIVE on FloRugby Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13-14

Approaching his third tournament, Sleightholme is going to bring his experience from that and playing for England in the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games to make a case for a regular Saints spot.

“It’s great for Northampton and the fans that we’ve got the Premiership Rugby 7s at Franklin’s Gardens again and it’s great for us as players too," said the speedster. “We get to come out in front of our home fans, first game in the new kit, it’s really nice to have it at home."

And it won't even matter that he's tired.

“It’s so exhausting but it’s also one of the most fun things you could ever do," Sleightholme added. “Your body is in pieces but you’re with your mates and you are out in front of your home crowd, playing against other great young players, it’s a good day."

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