Mike Catt MBE OBE

Mike Catt MBE & OBE has made a striking contribution as a play-maker for his clubs and country, including a crucial role in winning the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

Fourteen years after his England debut as a replacement for Rob Andrew – Mike finally hung up his international boots but did remain playing for London Irish until 2009 when his 18 year playing career came to an end. Mike is now the Attack coach for London Irish.

South African-born, he went to Grey Junior and High School and represented Eastern Province, but has played his senior rugby inEngland. He holds a British passport as his mother Anne was born in the Home Counties.

He joinedBathin 1992 as understudy to Stuart Barnes and stayed at the Recreation Ground for 12 years. He had a testimonial year withBathin 2004 and joined London Irish for the 04/05 season after considering offers to play inJapan, being named Guinness Premiership Player of the Season for 2005/6.

Playing mainly at full back, he was part ofEngland’s 1995 Grand Slam winning side, and played in the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

While touringArgentinawith England Mike was called up as an injury replacement for the 1997 British Lions tour toSouth Africa and played in the final test.

In 2000, with the retirement of Will Carling and Jeremy Guscott after the 1999 RWC, his career was revived when he stepped into midfield. Acting as an inside centre, with Jonny Wilkinson at No 10, his kicking and distribution contributed toEngland’s high try count.

In the 2003 RWC quarter final against Wales he took second half command of the game to seeEnglandthrough after coming on as a replacement and stayed at centre in place of the injured Mike Tindall for the semi final against France.

Mike led Englandagainst Franceand Walesin the RBS 6 Nations after Head Coach Brian Ashton turned to a player he coached at club level to replace the concussed Phil Vickery.

In the 2007 Rugby World Cup, incredibly Mike’s FOURTH World Cup, he played in 5 of the 7 matches including the Quarter-final, semi-final and Final. Along with Wilkinson he was credited with turning aroundEngland’s fortunes and helping them get to the Final.

Mike is a regular columnist for The Sunday Telegraph.