Jason Robinson

From Academic Kids

Jason Robinson (born 30 July 1974 in Leeds) is an English rugby union player and former rugby league player. He plays wing or fullback / utility. He is 1.73m (5'8) tall and weighs 84kg (13st 4lbs). He is often nicknamed 'Billy Whizz' after a character in a British comic called the Beano who is extremely fast. In a one-on-one situation he is generally considered to be unstoppable. He was an alcoholic but became a born-again Christian.

He started his rugby league career at Hunslet, a famous club that plays in South Leeds. Despite being offered a contract by Leeds he stuck by his side as it would have meant leaving at an inconvenient time. He was later rewarded by a contract with Wigan who dominated British rugby league. He went on to win twelve caps for Great Britain and seven for England. In all he played in 302 rugby league games, scoring 184 tries.

In 1996 rugby league went from a winter sport to a summer sport and many league players chose to play part of a season for a rugby union club. Jason agreed to play for Bath. After further contract negotiations with Wigan broken down Jason chose to play rugby union permanently for Sale Sharks who then were not considered one of the top teams.

He made his debut for Sale Sharks against Coventry in November 2000.

Despite having played few rugby union games he won his first England cap as a substitute against Italy in February 2001, having played in the A match against Wales at Wrexham a fortnight earlier. He was immediately chosen for the 2001 Lions tour to Australia and was one of the outstanding players in the side that won the first Test in Brisbane, by 29-13. In that game he sidestepped past Australian fullback Chris Latham. He went on to score another in the final Test.

This proved to be an excellent decision by the England management. He has scored 19 tries in just 33 international matches including a memorable dash to touch down in the 2003 World Cup final against Australia. He played in all seven of Englandís World Cup games.

After Lawrence Dallaglio's international retirement in 2003, Jonny Wilkinson was initially appointed captain. However, Wilkinson injured himself for the 2003 autumn internationals, and so Robinson has been promoted to captain. He is the 118th captain of England, the first mixed race player to captain England and the first former rugby league player to captain England. In his first appearance as captain, he scored a hat-trick of tries in a 70-0 wipeout of Canada.

In the 2004 6 Nations he scored three tries playing as a centre in the opening match against Italy and was named Man of the Match. Jason chose to opt out of the 2004 summer tour to recharge his batteries.

The choice of Robinson as captain came in for some criticism after England's mediocre 2005 Six Nations campaign, with many saying that at fullback he is too far removed from the action to be captain.

Robinson was again called up to the Lions' 2005 tour of New Zealand. He was excused from travelling with the bulk of the touring party in order to spend time with his wife, who is expecting the couple's fourth child in August. When he goes on tour, he normally brings his wife and children along, but her pregnancy made this impossible for the 2005 tour. He joined the team on 7 June, well in advance of the first New Zealand test on 25 June.

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