Being a second generation star in the making is a difficult task in any pursuit, but Bath Rugby supporters will be delighted to hear that Tom de Glanville made an impressive debut in the Blue, Black and White for Bath United in their A League win over Gloucester in April 2018.
The 18 year-old fly-half started at Kingsholm, and scored a memorable try in the 7-15 victory. De Glanville, who can also play at centre, has impressed at every turn in the Bath Academy side in keeping with his excellent rise through the ranks of the AASE system at Beechen Cliff School, tackling each new challenge with maturity and a hunger to succeed.
His dad – Bath and England legend Phil – is always supportive of his rugby, but his parents certainly didn’t assume he would follow his father into the Blue, Black and White ranks or even choose to pursue the game.
The A-Level student is very much carving his own path, very proud of the fact that his dad was captain and made 189 appearances for the Club, retiring in 2001 when Tom was only 18 months old.
“My parents said to do whatever I wanted to do, whether that be in sport or academics,” he claimed.
“Rugby is something I decided I wanted to do - it took my fancy around the age of 15 when I started to see that I could actually do it and really began to enjoy it!”
De Glanville has been a standout performer for Bath Under 18s. Talk to anyone in the Academy and they will tell you just how impressed they are with his cerebral approach towards the game .
“I’m really interested in how the game is evolving and what’s driving that change,” he said.
“I think it’s moving away from the era in the noughties when it was just big ball carriers trucking it up and getting round the corner.
“I’d like to create a new dimension of playing flat to the line where skill level is important - having the skill level to make a decision right at the line and bring players into the game around me. That’s the most important thing.”
De Glanville’s performances were rewarded with an Under 18 debut last November in South Africa against France, and he has since been repeatedly selected for the Under 18 squad.
He has ambition and aspirations to pull on the Blue, Black and White for the first team one day, and the young fly-half knows he still has to impress to make that a reality.
“Every young lad like me from this area dreams of playing for Bath,” he says. “But you have to fight for your place the whole way up. Even now in the Academy, if you don’t play well, there’s someone else waiting to take your place so it’s tough. Then again, if you have the drive for it, you get the reward!"