|Weight||110kg (17st 4lb)|
Having picked up three International Championship titles as a player, including two Grand Slams, Graham Rowntree added to his collection, this time off the field, when England triumphed in the 2011 RBS 6 Nations.
After joining the England National academy as a coach in 2007 Rowntree quickly progressed to England Seniors Scrum Coach and then Assistant Coach as part of Martin Johnson’s backroom staff. He also made up part of the British and Irish Lions coaching team for the 2009 tour of South Africa.
Born in Stockton-on-Tees, he had earned the first of his 54 England caps as a prop – off the bench for Jason Leonard – when the 1995 squad completed a Grand Slam by beating Scotland 24-12 at Twickenham. He played twice in the Rugby World Cup later that year, appeared in the 1999 tournament and in three British & Irish Lions’ Tests in 2005, eight years after first touring with them.
Graham started the Lions’ warm up match against Argentina at the Millennium Stadium that was awarded retrospective Test status before figuring twice off the bench against New Zealand. Educated at Hastings High School and John Cleveland College in Hinckley, he had played for Nuneaton’s age group teams and England Schools and, at the age of 22, was the youngest member of the Leicester Tigers’ domestic cup winning side of 1993.
He had joined Leicester in 1988, made his senior debut in October 1990 and shared in five Premiership titles, appeared in four domestic cup finals and three in the Heineken Cup, two of which produced victories over Stade Français and Munster. A rock-solid stalwart in the tight, he went on to play 398 first team games, being the 32nd Tiger to top 300 matches.
Graham made his final England appearance against Australia in June 2006. After retiring as a player, he became a member of the Tigers’ staff as assistant coach and joined the England National Academy coaching team in June 2007. He was appointed as an England specialist coach in June 2007 and in August 2008 became an assistant coach, a role he also occupied successfully for the 2009 Lions in South Africa.