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Elite Athletes 2022/23 – Introducing Sam Digman

Next up in SportsByte’s series getting to know showcased students who are part of the 2022/23 Elite Athlete Scheme is rugby’s Sam Digman.

Digman has spoken of his enjoyment following his recent transition to senior rugby.

And the versatile forward says he’s looking to progress further where possible, both within university and local club rugby.

Digman, who vice-captained Northumberland Under 20s in their 31-22 final win against Berkshire in the RFU Division Two County Championship final back in April, continues to go from strength to strength at home club Percy Park RFC, where he has been ever present since the age of seven.

Having also represented North of England under 20s and the Northumberland County Senior side this year, Digman is now looking to push on as he continues his time at Sunderland University.

Described as a “pillar” in relation to his role in the 1st XV Percy Park squad, and able to play as loosehead prop or within the back row as a number 8, Sam explained that his flexibility and skill to take on differing roles within different teams is often key to his success.

He said: “I like to think I am quite a relatively mobile front rower, so it’s only really scrum times when there’s a difference. I try to play in the same way wherever I play, which means getting around the pitch as much as possible.

“I’d like to think I carry in to hit rucks as a front row froward, but when I have the ball, I like to be a ball player when I can.”

As well as possessing power and strength to win the physical battle against their opponent and being a skilled scrummager, the modern-day prop forward also needs to be technically aware of their surroundings and be skilled enough to be able to play the ball when required. Judging by his recent call ups and wealth of progress made in 2022, it appears Sam has all of these in abundance.

Having now made the step up to senior rugby at the North Shields outfit and being an ever present figure within the Sunderland First XV, the forward is yet to look back.

“It was something I was looking forward to – a lot of players at that age get put off by it, I just really enjoyed the challenge.”

But despite his pedigree and the skills he possesses, Digman is refusing to get ahead of himself, insisting that his studies in pharmacy are number one priority in his immediate future.

“I would love to play a higher level at some point, but I feel right now I need to prioritise university. It’s quite full on, but perhaps when I graduate I can maybe look to go for a higher level. Right now, I’m playing for the love of it.”

With the performances Digman is producing for club, university and county, you’d feel this is a name that may be cropping up in the future within the higher echelons of the game, and certainly someone you should be keeping tabs on.