|Weight||94kg (14st 11lb)|
|Caps||38 Test appearances|
As England’s youngest RWC final player in 2007 at 21 years and 256 days, Mathew Tait still has a long career ahead of him at top level. With 38 caps, starting from the Wales’ match in Cardiff six years ago on the eve of his 19th birthday, Mathew has proved his pedigree, his latest appearance being off the bench against Australia at Perth last June.
He figured in 14 of England's 17 Tests in 2007 and has started for his country 16 times at centre, together with twice at full back and once on the wing but was ruled out of the 2008 Investec Challenge Series through a hamstring injury.
His Test tries were against Wales, Tonga, Ireland, Scotland and most recently against Italy in February last year. Of his past 19 caps, all except five have been off the bench.
He had been a major contributor to England's silver medal success in the Commonwealth Games Sevens in March 2006 with try hat tricks against Sri Lanka and Samoa and became the tournament’s top try-scorer. His Sevens’ debut had been in the IRB Series in Dubai and he has figured in other tournaments in George, Wellington, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Educated at Barnard Castle, where Rob Andrew and the Underwoods, Rory and Tony also studied, he played for England Schools, was in the victorious England A squad for the Churchill Cup in 2005 and appeared in the final against Argentina.
Mathew, from Shotley Bridge, had marked his Premiership debut for Newcastle Falcons in 2004 at the age of 18 years and 86 days by scoring a try with his first touch against London Irish.
Mathew first attracted attention when representing England Schools 16 and 18 Groups and joined Newcastle Falcons in 2003. He switched to Sale Sharks three years ago and soon played against his brother Alex, an England Under 20s full back and centre, who was appearing for the Falcons.