By Francesca Case
On 8th September, Lewis Ludlam flew to Japan to represent our country in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. As many of our clients know, Lewis is the Northampton Saints Rugby Player who we have sponsored for the last few years and we are immensely proud of his incredible and extremely well-deserved achievement.
If you read all the recent articles about Lewis, he has been an unexpected pick to the team and even Eddie Jones agreed that Lewis’ emergence ‘came from nowhere’. However, for those who know Lewis personally, this ‘rise to the top’ is no surprise. Lewis’ passion in life is Rugby and he always strives to be the best he can be in his game. He is extremely hard working and determined to do everything he can to achieve.
His rise to the top has been nothing short of a Hollywood Blockbuster. Last year he was trying to fight for another club contract at Northampton Saints and now he is in Japan representing our country, taking his place alongside the best Rugby Players in the World; rightfully so.
The Early Years
In his childhood days, Lewis was recruited on a sports scholarship at St Josephs College in Ipswich where he grew up. Never forgetting his roots, Lewis is now a strong supporter of the school and their famous Annual Rugby Festival. It was at this event where he captained the school to its third victory in 2013 playing the whole day with a badly broken thumb, without anyone knowing as he knew if a physio found out he wouldn’t be able to play.
He was also a part of the Northampton Saints Academy, which aims to produce players capable of making the grade in professional Rugby. However, at age 15 he was dropped from this programme. More determined than ever, he endeavored to continue to work hard for a future as a Professional Rugby Player and more importantly he wanted this to be at Northampton Saints, to prove a few people wrong. Its unsurprising that he achieved this.
His self-resilience and willpower to play and succeed against any odds, was clearly developed from a young age.
This isn’t Lewis first stint representing our country. In 2014 Lewis represented England in Under 18’s in South Africa where they won the IRD Junior World Cup and was called up again for the Under 20’s where England reached the Final and Lewis was voted England’s Player of the Tournament.
What sets him apart
Although he is still only young, it is easy to see he has ‘an old head on his shoulders’, and this is what we believe sets him apart from others.
Lewis has the same mindset of those elite professional athletes, who make it into the hall of fame. He believes in himself yet holds himself accountable to always be better, understanding that it takes extremely hard graft, dedication and sacrifice to get to the top. Whilst he celebrates his achievements, he is also looking straight away to the next goal he has set himself.
His incredible talent and hunger to succeed, combined with his ability to reflect, observe his surroundings and react appropriately to each situation, is a refreshing and composed approach for a young player with overnight, international fame. These characteristics are exceptionally rare for someone representing our country to possess at the outset of their international career. Most importantly, he is setting an incredible example for all those young kids he is now a role model for.
Lewis credits his support system with his success and brings those who have encouraged and elevated him along on his journey. His parents and siblings have been integral to his accomplishments and seeing his Dad in the crowd at his England debut in the warmup match against Wales ‘gave him goosebumps’.
Following the match, he was photographed with his Primary School Teacher upholding a promise he made to her ten years before as a young lad to give her tickets to his first England game to thank her for supporting him. He also has publicly credited Chris Boyd, of Northampton Saints, and Mark Patterson, of St Josephs College, for pulling strings and giving him opportunities to succeed.
A ‘People’s Hero’
All this confirms is Lewis’ genuinely humble attitude, which has been recognised both on and off the pitch. He thanks all those around him, not realising that most of his success is completely down to himself. This is the endearing element of Lewis’ personality that makes him a ‘People’s Hero’, he can make those around him feel just as important to his journey as he is, and in turn ‘his journey’ becomes ‘their journey’.
You only have to look at the great Captains in history to identify that Lewis also has all the qualities of a true leader and future England Captain, and his potential is massive and clearly not yet completely fulfilled.
Lewis has been described as a quiet operator with a tremendous work ethic and a special spark. An understated and determined player who ticks all the boxes with a mental resilience that sets him apart. A player with accuracy and controlled aggression, who leads from the front as soon as the whistle blows and sets an example to others.
However, what we see, is a talented kid who loves nothing more than playing as part of a team on a Rugby pitch.
For Lewis, this is only the beginning. We are incredibly proud of this young gentleman and feel privileged to sponsor him. We will be supporting him every step of the way. To us, he is already a hero and to the country, he is about to be one.
Click here to follow Lewis’ journey on Twitter.