Yesterday evening, ITV Sport announced their lineup of pundits for the upcoming 2015 Rugby World Cup, and it reads like a who's who of rugby legends. But who are they all?
BBC’s anchorman of the Six Nations since 2006, Inverdale has also covered Wimbledon, Olympic Games, Grand National and FIFA World Cup. Usually seen standing pitchside with Messrs Guscott, Davies and Woodward.
Sir Clive Woodward
Head coach of the England
national side from 1997 to 2004, a period which peaked with success in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Sir Clive was also a centre for Leicester for 6 years, during which time he picked up 21 caps for England and twice played for the British and Irish Lions test side, a team which he would go on to coach in New Zealand in 2005.
Record points scorer in the Six Nations, record number of points in the Rugby World Cup, only player to score points in to RWC finals, Premiership winner with Newcastle Falcons in 1997/98, Top 14 and back-to-back Heineken Cup titles with Toulon in 12/13 and 13/14, Rugby World Cup winner in 2003, four Six Nations titles (2000, 2001, 2003 and 2011). Slotted the game-winning drop goal in the 2003 final against Australia.
A key member of the 2003 Six Nations and Grand Slam winning England sides, Dallaglio spent his entire career with Wasps. The Number 8 also went on three British & Irish Lions tours from 1997 to 2005. Part of ITV’s 2011 RWC coverage, he is now a pundit for BT Sport.
Not only a rugby union great, but also a legend in the league format of the game. Robinson made his name with Wigan, before switching to union in 2000 with Sale Sharks. Scored a memorable try in the 2003 RWC final and went on to make 51 appearances for his country. Billy Whizz also toured with the Lions in 2001 an 2005.
The Wallabies scrum-half held the record number of international caps with 139, before Brian O’Driscoll overtook him in 2014. Gregan was captain in the 2003 final and will no doubt be involved with plenty of banter with the Englshmen who beat his Australia side on that day! Now runs the George Gregan Espresso coffee company, alongside working on Fox Sports back in Australia.
‘Alfie’ made a century of appearances for Wales, playing for Bridgend, Cardiff, the Celtic Warriors, Toulouse and Cardiff Blues at club level in a 16 year career in rugby union. Switched to league in 2010, playing one season for the Crusaders before retiring. The first openly gay rugby player, Thomas is now a vocal supporter of ChildLine.
BOD IS GOD.
Sir Ian McGeechan
Following on from an impressive playing career, Geech has led the British & Irish Lions in 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2009, as well ac coaching the midweek side in 2005. Scotland
coach between 1988 and 1993 and 1999 and 2003, McGeechan was most recently director of rugby at London Wasps. Sir Ian was knighted in the 2010 New Years Honours List for his services to rugby.
Captain of the 1995 Springboks World Cup-winning side, Pienaar was presented with the Webb Ellis Cup by Nelson Mandela, who wore a Springbok jersey bearing the captain’s number, in an iconic post-Apartheid moment, Pienaar made it known in his acceptance speech that the victory wasn’t just for the fans in the stadium, but the whole of South Africa. Portrayed by Matt Damon in 2006 film Invictus, and part of ITV’s RWC coverage in 2007 and 2011.
Another Rugby World Cup winner, this time from the inaugural tournament back in 1987. Fitzpatrick skippered the New Zealand side against the Lions in 1993, leading the All Blacks to a 201 series victory. Now a pundit for Sky Sports, covering Super Rugby and Rugby Championship games.
The final World Cup winner in the lineup, Lynagh was vice-captain for Australia in 1991. A truly world class fly half, he played a total of 72 games for the Wallabies, scoring 911 points. In 2012, Lynagh suffered a life-threatening but made a full recovery and now lines up alongside Sean Fitzpatrick as an analyst on Sky Sports.
A Bath stalwart, the English prop made 161 appearances in 9 years at the club. Flatman played 8 games for England and is now a pundit for ITV Sport, presenting highlights of the Aviva Premiership with Mark Durden-Smith and writes a column for Talksport.com
So those are the pundits, now we just have to wait until September 18th before it all kicks off!!