|Weight||93kg (14st 9lb)|
A meteoric rise toTest status foreshadowed an outstanding seven months for Delon Armitage, who not only started all 11 full internationals in 2008-09 and top scored with five tries, but was also the England discovery of the campaign.
He missed the 2009 Investec Challenge Series because of a dislocated left shoulder but started the first four games in the 2010 RBS 6 Nations Championship. Delon was ruled out of last year’s tournament by an eight-week suspension but bridged a nine-month gap between Test appearances when winning his twentieth cap, against Wales, atTwickenham last August.
His man of the match display on debut against the Pacific Islanders four years ago preceded a 45-metre dropped goal against Australia and tries in consecutive Championship games against Wales, Ireland and France.
Two more against Argentina at Old Trafford emphasised his impact after he was fast-tracked into the England Elite Player squad for the injured Mathew Tait. His sixth Test try was against Ireland in Dublin in late August 2011 and his first start on the wing at that level, as deputy for the injured Mark Cueto, followed in the opening RWC match against Argentina in Dunedin the following month.
His impressive performance against Georgia eight days later featured the third of England’s six tries, but he was ruled out of the quarter-final against France following a one-match suspension for a dangerous high tackle on Chris Paterson during the final pool game against Scotland.
Delon, born in San Fernando, Trinidad and the first native West Indian to be selected for England,has played five of his Tests alongside Steffon, his younger brother. A third sibling, Guy, 19, was called into the revised England U20 squad in mid January last year and made his debut in the 26-20 win over Wales at Parc y Scarlets thefollowing month.
A fluent and balanced runner, Delon has also prospered for London Irish, helping them to reach the Guinness Premiership final for the first time three years ago. In December 2009 he signed a contract keeping him at the club until the end of 2011-12.
All his Test starts have been at full back but his versatility provides other options. He played on the wing in the England Saxons’ 31-13 win over Ireland A at Leicester in February 2008, scoring a try, a conversion and two penalty goals and added another try when appearing at centre in the 38-15 victory over Italy A in Sicily.
His Saxons appearancesdate back to the Churchill Cups of 2006 and 2007 after he had represented England U19 and U21.
He took up the game when eight for Richmond before moving across the Channel, where he appeared for Racing Club de Nice and played for France U16. When returning to England in 2002, he joined the London Irish Academy, progressed to the England Sevens’ squad and so his success unfolded.
44 points – 7T, 2PG, 1DG
2008 PI, A, SA, NZ 2009 It, W, I, F, S, Arg (1,2) 2010 W, It, I, S, A(2R), NZ(R), A(R), Sam(R) 2011 W, W(R), I(R) World Cup - Arg, G, R (R), S
Last updated: October 10, 2011