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Neil Back

From Academic Kids

Neil Back (born January 16 1969) is a former international rugby union footballer for England, who also plays for Leicester Tigers. During his international career, he gained 66 caps for England, captaining them four times and was part of the 2003 World Cup winning side. He played as an openside flanker.

Back was born in Coventry. He then played for Nottingham

Despite impressive performances, he was not selected for England regularly on the basis that he was too small - at only 5 ft 10 i n (1.78 m) and 14 stone (89 kg). Opponents to this claimed that his low body position helped his tackling, mobility and ability to snaffle the ball on the ground. In fitness tests, he was reputedly one of the fittest members of the England squad, he was blessed with an enormous workrate.

His big break came on the 1997 British Lions tour to South Africa, where he was a replacement in the second decisive test. He subsequently became an important part of Clive Woodward's as a back-row unit with Richard Hill and Lawrence Dallaglio.

He captained England when Martin Johnson was injured. He took over the captaincy of Leicester for the 2003/4 season, but Johnson was reinstated as captain after the coaching coup that saw Dean Richards sacked as coach, and Back given a role as a defence coach.

He retired after he was dropped from the England team during the 2004 Six Nations, citing that he wanted to spend more time with his family rather than fight for his place in the side. Known for his competitive nature, he had previously vowed never to retire and was 35 at the time of the World Cup win.

He since stated, unlike Johnson that he would make himself available for the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand and was selected in the squad, his third Lions tour. With the selection, Back became the oldest Lion ever, at age 36.

He is married with two daughters.

Back has been offered coaching positions with Leicester and England's Academy after his expected imminent retirement, and has stated that he wishes to one day coach England.

External links

  • Sporting heroes Sporting heroes player profile (http://www.sporting-heroes.net/rugby-heroes/displayhero.asp?HeroID=412)
  • Leicester Tigers Leicester Tigers player profile (http://www.tigers.co.uk/sub_squad.ink?-database=squad&-response=sub_playerdisplay.ink&-table=detail&-sortField=surname&-sortOrder=ascending&-op=bw&sitename=tigers&-op=bw&type=P&-op=bw&season=2003/2004&-maxRecords=1&-skipRecords=3&-search)
  • planet-rugby Planet rugby player profile (http://www.planet-rugby.com/stats/players/players_listing.phtml/p_r/ENG?setCode=archive&search_text=Neil+Back&tournament_code=international&country=&scdate=1871&ecdate=2004&position=&sbdate=1871&ebdate=2004&go=Submit)
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