Interview with Saints superstar, Alex Rayment – Toby Okechukwu
This is my interview with a superstar at the Northampton Saints academy – Alex Rayment – who, after a planned meet up in May – took his sweet time to come and have this interview with me. A true superstar.
Toby Okechukwu: How does it feel to start playing rugby with the big boys of Northampton Saints?
Alex Rayment: It makes me realise the great achievement that I have by getting a professional contract with a big club in England, especially with the likes of Dylan Hartley and George North running alongside me.
TO: How does it feel it to be like a celebrity in the school?
AR: It is a bit of a surreal feeling to be a name that everyone recognises, and that everyone knows the achievements that I have managed over the last few years whilst studying at the school. I hope it gives the younger pupils at the school and future pupils something to strive towards.
TO: What would you do if rugby didn’t work for you or you got injured during your career?
AR: I have got offers from universities, so probably that initially, or I’d get a job or an apprenticeship in something that I enjoy.
TO: You were never a starting player for saints when you joined at the end of Year 9. How do you feel you managed that breakthrough?
AR: Through hard work and dedication, as well as a huge family backing that meant I didn’t have to worry about getting to training or matches. It meant I could focus on playing the main part, and give good performances out on the pitch but also in the training paddock. To achieve what I have you not only need to be physically tough but also mentally tough and that is an area I believe I am very strong in.
TO: Do you want to manage Saints or help with the training of youth development players after your time at the club?
AR: It’s not something I immediately thought of when signing my first deal with Northampton Saints or when starting to play through the England set-up. But I definitely want to in some way give back to the rugby community for what they have done for me. The amount of coaches that have supported me along the way – without input from them I would not have been in the position I am in today. I am very grateful for that but it’s hard to thank all these people in person due to some of them supporting me a few years back.
TO: Do you hope to make the England team in the near future?
AR: I would definitely hope to play in the future with the England team, but I have to focus on the now and if I play well with the England age groups, and then with Northampton Saints. England will come calling, but I have to stay focused on what I am doing now and get my head down and work hard. I have the right coaching team around me to be able to achieve this, but I need to have goals and this is definitely one of them.
TO: Thank you for your time and good luck in the near future.
AR: No problem. Thank you.