Graham Rowntree

Graham Rowntree

A rugged and reliable loose-head prop, Graham Rowntree won a total of 54 caps for England in an 11-year international between 1995 and 2006 and appeared three times for the British & Irish Lions.

He made his England debut as a replacement for Jason Leonard against Scotland in 1995 and would go on to feature at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Selection for the 1997 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa followed where he was a key member of the midweek side but failed to earn a Test cap. He appeared at his second Rugby World Cup in 1999 but was overlooked for the 2001 Lions tour to Australia.

A member of England’s Six Nations Grand Slam side in 2003, he was unlucky to miss out on the squad that travelled to Australia and eventually won the Rugby World Cup. Coach Clive Woodward later admitted the decision to leave Graham behind was one of the hardest decisions he had to make during his tenure.

Graham returned to the England ranks in 2004 and finally made his Lions Test bow in 2005 when he played in the warm-up game against Argentina before appearing as a replacement in the final two matches against New Zealand.

A veteran of 398 appearances for Leicester between 1990-2007, he was twice a winner of the Heineken Cup with the Tigers and he also won four Premiership titles, two Pilkington Cups and a Courage league crown at club level.

He retired in 2007 after a 17-year playing career and joined the Tigers’ backroom staff from where he made a rapid rise up the coaching ranks.

He joined the England National Academy in June 2007 and was soon appointed an England Specialist Coach with specific focus on the scrum.

The following year he was elevated to assistant coach under new England Manager Martin Johnson and in December 2008 he was unveiled as part of the Lions’ coaching team for the tour to South Africa in 2009.

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