'Huge Respect' for Ealing Trailfinder’s Sam Stanley

Rugby union player announces that he is gay

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'Huge Respect' for Ealing Trailfinder’s Sam Stanley


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An Ealing Trailfinders player has attracted huge support across the rugby world after announcing that he is gay.

23-year-old Sam Stanley said in the Sunday Times, "I was 10 or 11 when I realised I was different to my friends. I didn't want to accept it, I felt that being different wasn't right. I had a girlfriend and I was thinking that, like some people say, maybe it is a phase."

Soon after the publication of the article he received a wave of encouragement from family and rugby insiders. England forward Matt Kvesic tweeted that he had ‘huge respect’ for the Ealing player calling him a ‘top man and a top player’.

Sam, who plays at centre or fly half, has represented England at U18 level and in sevens and is part of a rugby dynasty that includes players who have played for three different countries. His uncle Joe Stanley played at centre in New Zealand’s World Cup winning team in 1987 whilst his brother Mike is in the Samoan squad for this year’s World Cup. He also has cousins playing professionally for Harlequins and Clermont Auvergne.

Born in Essex he was part of the Saracens Academy before joining Trailfinders via Twickenham Rugby Club.

His decision to go public about his sexuality comes weeks after Keegan Hirst of the Batley Bulldogs became the first rugby league player to do so. Sam tweeted his support for Keegan after the announcement.

Gareth Thomas who played both codes of the game came out in 2009.

August 30, 2015

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