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James Ramm: Settling in so easy at Saints

Northampton Saints supporters are starting to see the best of winger James Ramm, who is thoroughly enjoying his first season in English rugby. 

The 24-year-old Australian comes into this weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup clash against Stade Rochelais having been named the cinch Player of the Month for December earlier in the week. 

It was a just reward for Ramm’s excellent form standing out in what, in truth, was a tricky month for Saints – which included him getting on the scoresheet in the defeats against Gloucester and Saturday’s opponents. 

He has since proved it was no fluke, with his double against Harlequins on New Year’s Day and latest score at Munster last week taking him to seven tries in 11 appearances for the Club. 

Included in his ever-growing tally are some spectacular finishes that should probably come as no surprise, given he did perform as a gymnast during his youth. 

Ramm may have been made to wait for a chance to really impress, but since forcing his way into the team he has wasted no time at all in making himself a firm favourite with the Gardens faithful. 

“From the start, it’s been very easy for me to integrate off the field,” Ramm said. 

“But it always takes playing a couple of games to be like ‘OK, now I feel like I’m in the mix,’ and you can throw a bit of stick back when they give it to you. It always takes a couple of games.” 

Ramm’s time with Saints did get off to a frustrating start, however, when a combination of injury and illness delayed his debut, following his summer arrival from the Waratahs. 

He gave a sign of things to come by scoring twice on his first appearance for his new Club against London Irish in the Premiership Rugby Cup in September, although it wasn’t until November that he first saw action in the Gallagher Premiership. 

Now, Ramm is beginning to establish himself on the left wing after quickly forming a deadly partnership with fellow wide man Tommy Freeman

Looking back on his disrupted beginning with Saints, Ramm said: “It’s never a way you’d want to start at a Club. 

“I came in with a little injury, picked up another one during pre-season and then had pretty much everything under the sun – I had Covid one week, I was sick one of the other weeks, so it was tough, definitely.

“But I never felt like I was on the outside. Before coming here, I’d never really experienced a culture like it in such a big squad.”

James Ramm

“You’d think there would be fractions, but it’s all sort of one big group and I felt very comfortable settling in.”

The process was no doubt helped by the fact the New South Wales native was one of three players arriving from Australia ahead of this season, along with lock Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and back rower Angus Scott-Young

“It is useful to have a couple of other Aussie accents thrown around the changing room,” Ramm said. 

“They were from Queensland, those two, and they knew each other a fair bit, but if you see another Aussie across the world, you’re probably going to be mates with them, and it has helped for sure.” 

Just like his countrymen, Ramm has had to get used to playing rugby in the cold and wet conditions that typify the English winter, as well as the shortened daylight hours. 

Thankfully for him, Saints’ style of play means he was never going to go through every winger’s worst nightmare of having to stand around in freezing weather wondering if they will ever get a touch of the ball. 

It is that style he credits for his excellent scoring ratio so far this season, with him preferring to give his teammates the credit for crossing the whitewash. 

Ramm said: “You’d definitely take a win over an individual try, ten times out of ten, and often as a winger you score those tries because everyone has done the work inside. 

“For a couple of my tries I’ve had to walk over the line – I don’t know if I can take credit for those!

“I think when we’re scoring points as a team, it means that we’re playing our game and we’re putting on the field what we want to, so it is a reflection on the team.”

James Ramm

Saints putting in a positive performance in what will be their last Champions Cup match of the season would certainly give Ramm a great opportunity to further add to his total. 

He remembers vividly the atmosphere produced in the reverse fixture against Stade Rochelais at the Stade Marcel-Deflandre last month, and hopes his side’s display on Saturday can lead to a similar noise level ringing around the Gardens. 

He said: “It was an experience, for sure. When they scored their first try, the crowd erupted and I had never experienced that. 

“I’m hoping for a similar atmosphere this weekend, but hopefully with not so much cheering for them!”

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