Son of former Leeds and Wigan player set for international Union debut

James Botham, the son of former Leeds and Wigan forward Liam and grandson of ex-England cricketer Sir Ian, is set to make his international debut for Wales Rugby Union this weekend.

The 22-year-old has been named to start at flanker in Wales’ Autumn Nations Cup clash against Georgia at Parc y Scarlets.

In his stint in the 13-a-side game, his dad Liam started out with Bradford’s academy, before joining Leeds on a unique dual-code contract, which also allowed him to play for the Rhinos’ union sister side, Leeds Tykes.

He also spent time on loan with London Broncos in 2004, before ending his career with Wigan the following year, retiring aged 27 due to a neck injury.

His son James was born in Cardiff in 1998 during Liam’s time playing for Cardiff RFC but has never explored the same rugby league avenues as his father.

Instead, he joined the Cardiff Blues’ academy as a teenager, before progressing to their senior side.

He has also represented Wales at under-20 level and will now make his senior international bow on Saturday.

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