'He’s English-qualified': Aussie wing to swap Super Rugby for Premiership
TRANSFER NEWS: Northampton Saints announced the signing of Australian wing James Ramm from the Waratahs ahead of the 2022/23 season.
The English-qualified 23-year-old outside back has started 18 of his 20 Super Rugby appearances since announcing himself in style with a try on his Waratahs debut in 2020, becoming a mainstay in the Sky Blues’ backline and one of the competition’s top performers in clean breaks, defenders beaten, and metres carried.
Ramm came through the Colts system at Randwick – playing in the Shute Shield competition for the Sydney side – before also representing the Sydney Rays in Australia’s National Rugby Championship ahead of joining the Waratahs’ Gen Blue Academy.
He was selected for the Junior Wallabies in 2018, pulling on the Australia jersey at that year’s World Rugby Under-20s Championship, and the flyer is now relishing the prospect of turning out at Franklin’s Gardens in the Premiership.
“I’m thrilled to be signing for Northampton Saints and to experience playing some footy in a completely different environment over in England,” said Ramm.
“The Premiership is one of the most competitive leagues in the world and I’m looking forward to getting over there to show the club’s supporters what I can do. The coaches have a really exciting vision for Saints and the brand of rugby the team plays, so I wanted to get involved as soon as I started talking to them.
“There have been a few guys now who have done great things in Black, Green and Gold having moved over to Northampton from Sydney in recent years. I hope I can follow in their footsteps and make a big impact at the club.”
Saint James 😇
We’re excited to confirm the signing of wing James Ramm from the Waratahs 🐏ADVERTISEMENT
The 23 year-old Aussie, who is also English qualified, joins ahead of the 2022/23 season.
— Northampton Saints 😇 (@SaintsRugby) April 28, 2022
Ramm has been named in Dave Rennie’s senior Australia training squads but is yet to make his debut for the Wallabies at Test level, and has balanced his playing career so far with studying for a degree in bio-medical engineering at the University of New South Wales.
He started his journey in rugby later than most having been a prodigious gymnast in his youth, specialising in the floor and vault disciplines and competing at the Australian Institute of Sport.
The fleet-footed wing traded the balance beam for a pair of rugby boots aged 13, opting to head to Sydney’s St Joseph’s College – which boasts a host of Wallabies amongst its alumni including Kurtley Beale, Peter Betham, and Matt Burke – rather than pursuing a path towards the Olympic Games.
As Ramm becomes Saints’ third signing of the season from Down Under (with the Club announcing the arrivals of Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Angus Scott-Young in recent weeks), incoming Director of Rugby, Phil Dowson, believes the 23-year-old’s athleticism makes him a perfect fit for the demands of European rugby.
He said: “James is tall, strong, aggressive and talented under the high ball. He’s obviously an impressive athlete given his top-level gymnastics background, but he’s grown into an excellent rugby player over the last few years.
“He’s English-qualified but was on the fringes of the Australia squad last year, and we spoke to Rob Horne at length about him too – he is a big fan of James so he comes to us highly recommended.
“There’s a huge amount of potential for James to develop further given his age as well, and based on his size and ability to dominate in the air, we’re confident he’ll compliment the group of back-three players we already have at the Club really nicely.”