Freddie Steward had big impact on Englands win over Springboks in Autumn Series.
After match Englands full-back warmly embracing his grandad, Gabriel, tears rolling down his proud grandad’s cheeks this photo catch extra attention and went viral on social media. he spoke up with Telegraph about this emotions and what he it meant for him
“Myself and my family, we’re tucked away in Norfolk so we’re sort of away from all that sort of thing. It was a bit strange,” Steward admitted. “I went to see grandad after the [South Africa] game and he has all the copies of the newspapers, bless him. It was really nice.
“Family for me has always been the most important thing and that is a massive part of why I play rugby, to make them proud. To have them supporting me along the way… they have made massive, massive sacrifices. My grandad has always been a big fan of mine. He told me when I was about 14 or 15 that I would play for England. I didn’t believe him back then and obviously to see him after that game when it all came true was a really special moment, and I will cherish that for the rest of my life. To have family there is what makes it so special.”
“I had a good opportunity to go home to the family and just reflect on the journey that it has been, the last two years of it,” Steward adds. “It has been unbelievable, an awesome experience, everything that has happened – and it has happened so fast. It was a really nice opportunity that week just to sit back and look at it all.”
Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick was impressed with Stewards performance in Autum Series
“Each time you put something else in front of him, he keeps enjoying that challenge and taking it head on. I think it’s brilliant, you just have to keep challenging him,” Borthwick explains.
“His involvement with England this summer, the Tests with the USA and Canada, I think he came back from that and had made another jump forward in his appetite, his hunger. He had a taste for it and wanted more of that involvement with England. What he has done is grasp that challenge, made that leap up.
“We try to [challenge him] here and I’m sure he’ll be getting that at international level and hopefully play many more games for England. But I’ve been really impressed. He’s a young man, still a very young man, but whatever you put in front of him he just wants to attack it.
“Freddie, he has a smile on his face. You can have a laugh with him straight away. He enjoys what he does, and he brings that enjoyment to other players around him as well. Even from 19, when I first started working with him, he’s not afraid to speak up on the pitch, it doesn’t matter who it is. He has a voice, which I really like. He just wants to do well.”