Hotshot: Northampton and Scotland U20 back-row Devante Onojaife

first_imgRW VERDICT: Onojaife cites his mum as the biggest influence on his career. Having settled at back-row and been part of Scotland’s U20 World Cup side, he’s looking to make a big impression on new Northampton coach Chris Boyd.This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Rugby World magazine. Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. On the ball: Devante Onojaife in action during the Junior World Cup (Getty Images) TAGS: Northampton Saints Tough. That first year at Saints I was developing and trying to be a prop, then I had a talk with Jim Mallinder and he saw me as a back-row. So I lost a bit of weight and worked on my conditioning. It was quite challenging. I played at Cambridge for two seasons, which helped me.Your brother, Jordan, plays too… He’s a lock at Ealing. We’re quite competitive but have always helped each other. He did the same process as me at Stowe.How did representing Scotland come about? I qualify through my grandmother, who was born in Edinburgh. I’m not sure how they found out but I played Scotland U18, England U18 and now Scotland U20.What are your goals going forward? I want to hit the ground running in pre-season. It’s my last year in the academy so it’s a big year to try to improve and we’ve got a new coach. He doesn’t know any of the players so we’re all starting from scratch; it’s a big chance for all of us.What do you do off the field? I study business management, specialising in marketing, with the Open University. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Get to know the Northampton Saint who represents Scotland U20 – Devante Onojaife Northampton and Scotland U20 back-row Devante Onojaife Date of birth 15 April 1998 Born Colchester Club Northampton Country Scotland Position Back-rowHow long have you played rugby?I was born in Essex but moved to Dubai when I was nine because of my dad’s job – he’s a chemical engineer – and I started playing when I was 12 as it was on the school curriculum. Before then I’d mainly played football.How did you find it? I didn’t know any rules and the first time I got the ball I ran the wrong way! I must have enjoyed it, though, as I kept doing it. When I was younger I was big for my age and was asked to tone it down in football. In rugby, I didn’t need to do that.How did you get spotted by Northampton? We used to come back from Dubai in the summer to see family and my mum found a rugby residency course at Stowe School. I went to a couple of trials and Saints asked me to come to a session with the U18s, then kept in contact. I went to Stowe for sixth form, played for the U18s both years and was lucky enough to get signed.What positions have you played? I started off in the back row, then switched to tighthead prop and now I’m back in the back row. I was signed by Northampton as a prop and I’d got into the England U18s as a prop.How was the switch? last_img read more

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