Oliver Andrew Chessum (b2001 )
Ollie is an English rugby union player for Leicester Tigers in Premiership Rugby. His preferred position is lock, but he also plays back row.
He made his England debut in the 2022 Six Nations against Italy, and has played one match internationally for England.
Boston-born, he began playing rugby at Carre’s Grammar School in Sleaford at the age of 13, after the family moved to Aunsby, before playing club rugby for Sleaford, Newark and Kesteven. Originally more of a footballer, Chessum was encouraged to play rugby by his PE teacher during his first two years at Carre’s.
He remains the school’s only England international in its 418-year history.
Chessum was attached to Leicester’s academy as a teenager but was not taken into the main senior academy at 16, instead he played for Kesteven and the Notts, Lincs and Derby Rugby Union youth teams, during which time he represented England Counties at U18 level.
He captained England Counties to victory over Ireland at U18 level before being named in an England U20 training squad.
He joined Nottingham straight from school and impressed at the club making 11 appearances. He then went on to join Leicester Tigers in the summer of 2020, making his debut at Kingsholm against Gloucester on 30 August 2020.
On 20 November 2021 he was named as the Leicester Mercury’s man of the match for his performance in a 55-7 Premiership Rugby Cup win against Wasps.
Chessum, who is 6ft 7in tall, played in 14 from 17 games at the start of the 2021-22 season and his form saw him called up for the England squad for the 2022 Six Nations Championship on 18 January 2022, England coach Eddie Jones compared Chessum to Courtney Lawes, highlighting his lineout skills and his ball-carrying abilities.[
In February 2022 Chessum, who weighs 18st 8lb made his England debut as a replacement in a 33-0 win over Italy in Rome
. Angus Shaw, club president at Kesteven Rugby Club, is proud of Ollie’s success and told The Lincolnite: “The journey from Kesteven to England is one only Ollie has travelled and to have done so in our Club’s 75th anniversary year makes it all the more special.
“To be rubbing shoulders with legends of the game at 21 is wonderful and down to him, his talent and his hard work, he’s a real inspiration to the current crop of talented minis and juniors at Kesteven.
“He’s such a nice lad, we’re immensely proud to see him play in a white shirt, but we were always just as proud of him when he wore a black one.”