And despite successfully crossing the codes after a spell with hometown club Widnes, Stephen maintains a passion for the first sport he played.
"I'd played one game of union when I was about 12 at school and didn't have a clue what I was doing," he admits. "It's very much a rugby league town and I didn't enjoy it because I didn't know the rules properly. I dismissed it really but as I got older and started watching the Six Nations I got a little more interested. When I spoke to Northampton I was very curious and came down to look at the place. It was a great opportunity and one that I couldn't really turn down.
"I still love watching league. I've grown up with it since I was five or six and it's a great game to watch. I don't really support a team. I look out for my home town club Widnes as my dad, uncle and great uncle played for them as well as me. I wouldn't say I am a die-hard fan but the connection is always there."
As the 2010/11 season progresses, Stephen realises the importance of timing a run of form comethe business end of the year.
"What we have to do as a squad is put ourselves in position for the playoff time because that's what it's down to at the end of the day. Unfortunately you win nothing for coming top and we are well aware of that. If we make it to the semi-finals we will be ready to strike because as you saw last year it all comes down to that. The more we keep winning the better position we will be in to do that."
After four seasons at the Saints and in union his rapid progression was recognised as Martin Johnson selected him for the Saxons squad over the summer tour of the USA, where Stephen established himself as the first choice ten in the winning Churchill Cup campaign. It was a second Saxons tour in a row for him and with a number of winners' medals already in the cabinet, there is one addition Stephen would love to make and coming so close last year has fuelled the fire even further it seems.
"Personally id love to win the Premiership. It's our bread and butter and I think it's the acid test of a team whether or not you can maintain the performance across the season. We just came up a little short last year and hopefully we have learned our lessons and this could be our year. It hurt massively. Losing so narrowly in a home semi final as we did it wasn't a nice feeling. We were so confident that when we were playing well we knew could match anyone. We've put that behind us now though and hopefully we can use that positively to achieve the goals we've set this year.
"So much has changed in the past few seasons but it has been a positive turn around from where we were when I joined, to where we are now and where we are hoping to go and I'm delighted to be involved."