Leading the England U18 team to the FIRA/AER European Championship title in Poland in 2014 revealed the immense potential of Sam Underhill.
In nine appearances that year, he captained the side in three of the final five matches, twice against Wales and once against Ireland and they won every game.
Sam’s first appearance in a senior England shirt was when he started the non-cap match against the Barbarians at Twickenham in May 2017 and his impressive Test debut followed against Argentina at Sante Fe in June. He was born in Dayton, Ohio, played twice for Gloucester before crossing the Severn Bridge to play for Ospreys while studying at Cardiff University.
He switched to Bath on a three-year deal in 2017. Sam featured on the bench for the first three games of the 2018 Six Nations, and took part in the November internationals. He has become a regular under head coach Eddie Jones and was part of the squad that reached the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.
Here, the powerhouse picks his all-time dream team and it’s very impressive.
Sam Underhill dream team
Fullback: Matt Perry (England) – He proudly won 36 caps for England, three for the Lions in Australia in 2001, and made an eye watering 221 appearances scoring 561 points for Bath Rugby between 1995 and his enforced retirement in 2007, at that point the Club’s longest serving player.
Winger: Jonah Lomu (New Zealand) – Arguably one of the greatest players ever to step on a rugby field, Lomu was one of the most devastating players of his era. Weighing in at 120kg, Lomu was a formidable force on the wing, scoring 37 tries in 63 appearances for his New Zealand.
Winger: Shane Williams (Wales) – He is Wales’ most capped winger with 87 to his name. In 2008, Williams was selected as the World Rugby Player of the Year. Renowned for his pace, side-step and runs, he went on to become one of the best wingers in world rugby and one of Wales’ all-time greats.
Outside-centre: Conrad Smith (New Zealand) – He possessed an eye for the gap unlike many others in the game, frequently being seen ghosting past defences with ease. His quality handling and kicking game made him the complete attacker, frequently creating space for wingers around him. Smith retired from Test Rugby after the 2015 Rugby World Cup and ended his international career with 94 Test Caps, 2 Rugby World Cup Titles and 26 tries.
Inside-Centre: Jean de Villiers (South Africa) – De Villiers is deceptively quick, has superb handling skills and has an uncanny knack for intercept tries. In 2014 he became the fifth South African to reach 100 Test caps for the Springboks. He was named South African Rugby Player of the Year in 2008 and 2013.