Will Greenwood MBE
Will Greenwood is one of England’s greatest ever rugby players. In a professional career that spanned 11 years and 55 international caps he established a reputation as an unsurpassed mid-field creator. The second highest international try scoring centre of all time, he was an integral part of England’s victorious World Cup campaign of 2003, a character and leader in one of the most successful team dynamics seen in recent times. Since retirement Will has gone on to establish himself as one of the foremost voices in the rugby media; a renowned analyst, and one of the most intelligent and entertaining characters in the game.
Will spent his childhood in Italy and Lancashire before going on to study Economics at Durham University. On graduating he took up a position on the City trading floor at Midland Global Markets (now HSBC). Thrown in to a highly pressurized environment based on split second decisions, it proved invaluable experience for his subsequent career in rugby.
Having played for Harlequins alongside his day job, he committed full time to rugby as soon as it went professional in 1996. After a spell at Leicester, where he helped to bring home two Premiership titles, he re-signed for Harlequins in 2000 and played a key role in taking them to victory twice in the European Shield.
On the international stage Will was selected for the triumphant British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa in 1997, and during the 1997/98 season he made his full debut under Clive Woodward for the autumn series against Australia. Despite missing virtually the whole of the 1998/99 season through injury, he was selected for the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
An integral part ofEngland’s Six Nations victories in 2000 and 2001,Greenwood was also on scintillating form inEngland’s exhilarating Grand Slam win in 2003. In the crucial final game againstIreland,England swept away their opposition withGreenwood rampant in the midfield, scoring two tries as they surged to a 42-6 victory.
Under the inspirational leadership of Woodward, Will was then part of the World Cup winning squad of 2003 – a team that has become synonymous with attention to detail, clear thinking under pressure, trust, leadership and self belief. Will finished the tournament joint top try scorer, an achievement made all the more remarkable by the fact that his wife experienced problems with her pregnancy during the tournament, necessitating a dash back to Englandin the latter stages.
In the culmination of an outstanding career, he finally threw off subsequent injury problems to run out for the British & Irish Lions in the 2005 tour of New Zealand. In total he toured 3 times with Lions, in 1997, 2001 and 2005.
Throughout his 13 seasons at the top, Will was a dedicated professional combining a fantastic work ethic with a desire to continuously learn and improve his game. Despite significant injury setbacks and occasional moments of self doubt and personal tragedy his focus, determination and perseverance led him to the top of the national and international game.
Off pitch his focus has remained undimmed. With a reputation as a bright, articulate and entertaining personality he has established himself as a hugely popular and respected presenter for Sky Sports. Alongside a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph he has firmly cemented himself as one of the most insightful and intelligent commentators in the game today.
In addition to his media career Greenwood’s experiences both on and off the pitch mean that he is in high demand as an after dinner and keynote speaker.