Andy Goode – Fly-half, Fullback

Date of Birth: 3 April 1980
Place of Birth: Coventry, England
Clubs: Leicester Tigers, Saracens, Brive, Sharks, Worcester Warriors, Wasps, Newcastle Falcons
International: England (9 caps)
Coventry Connection: Birthplace and represented Wasps after their move to the Ricoh Arena.

Coventry-born former England rugby player who plays for Wasps RFC. In March 2008, Goode became the all-time leading points scorer in the English Premiership and in December 2014 he set a Premiership record of 33 points in a single match in Wasps’ first permanent home game at the Ricoh Arena.

Fran Cotton – Prop

Date of Birth: 3 January 1947
Place of Birth: Wigan, England
Clubs: Liverpool R.F.C., Sale, Coventry R.F.C., Lancashire
International: England (31 caps)
Coventry Connection: Spent two seasons at Coventry R.F.C.

Joining in 1973 Fran spent two seasons at Coventry, during which time he was capped by England and played Test rugby for the British Lions in South Africa in 1974. An illustrious career also saw him represent Liverpool St Helens and Sale. Fran subsequently went on the Lions tours to New Zealand in 1977 and South Africa again in 1980, and managed the 1997 British & Irish Lions to South Africa.

Tom Wood – Flanker, No.8

Date of Birth: 3 November 1986
Place of Birth: Coventry, England
Clubs: North Otago, Worcester Warriors, Northampton Saints
International: England (50 caps)
Coventry Connection: Birthplace and was educated at the Woodlands School and Sports College.

Early in his career Wood played for provincial team North Otago in New Zealand before moving to Worcester Warriors. Where he was losing side in the final of the 2007-08 European Challenge Cup against Bath. In 2010 he joined Northampton Saints whom he captained to both the European Rugby Challenge Cup and Aviva Premiership trophies as the side completed its double winning season. He’s represented England 50 times and captained them during their 2013 tour of Argentina, winning the series 2-0.

Phil Judd – Prop

Date of Birth: 8 April 1934
Place of Birth: Coventry, England
Clubs: Coventry R.F.C.
International: England (22 caps)
Coventry Connection: Birthplace and was educated in and played for Coventry.

Phil was another product of the Coventry Schools system, having attended Broad Heath which also produced Ivor Preece. Judd began his rugby career playing for Broadstreet RFC before progressing to play for his city side Coventry, where he made 442 appearances.

Judd was capped twenty-two times for England as a prop between 1963 and 1966. He captained England in his last five internationals, including the 1967 Five Nations Championship.

Jim Hamilton – Lock, Second Row

Date of Birth: 3 April 1980
Place of Birth: Swindon, England
Clubs: Leicester Tigers, Edinburgh Rugby, Gloucester Rugby, Montpellier, Saracens
International: Scotland (63 caps)
Coventry Connection: Educated at Coundon Court School in Coventry, and played for Barkers Butts R.F.C.

Hamilton played for England at under-21 level but opted for senior honours with Scotland. He was the 1000th man capped by Scotland, making an appearance off the bench against Romania on 11 November 2006. Included in the 2007 World Cup squad making several appearances during the group stages, Hamilton scored his first international try for Scotland on 19 June 2010, in Scotland’s victory over Argentina.

David Duckham – Centre, Wing

Date of Birth: 28 June 1946
Place of Birth: Wigan, England
Clubs: Coventry R.F.C.
International: England (36 caps)
Coventry Connection: Born, educated and played in Coventry.

Coventry’s most capped international with 36 appearances for England either in the centre or on the wing following his debut against Ireland in 1969. Added to that, David travelled to New Zealand in 1971 with the British Lions and played a full part on the tour well remembered for the series victory over the All Blacks. A captain of the club, David is third on the all-time try-scoring list for Cov with 147. He was a member of the Barbarians side of 1973 that famously defeated the All Blacks at Cardiff, following which in Wales he became known as ‘Dai the adopted Welshman’ He was blessed with searing pace and sleight of foot, which pulverised many defences.

John Gray – Prop, Hooker, Second Row, Loose Forward

Date of Birth: 9 October 1948
Place of Birth: Meriden, England
Clubs: Coventry R.F.C., Wigan, North Sydney, Manly-Warringa
International: England (3 caps)
Coventry Connection: John Gray was a pupil at Woodlands Comprehensive School, Coventry and played for Coventry R.F.C. before switching codes to League.

John Denis Gray is an English cricketer, and rugby union, and professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He played cricket for Warwickshire, and Marylebone Cricket Club, as a left-hand bat, and left-arm medium-fast bowler, playing representative rugby union (RU) for England (7s), and at club level for Coventry R.F.C., as a Hooker and playing representative rugby league (RL) for Great Britain, and England, and at club level for Wigan, North Sydney Bears (twice), and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, as a prop, Hooker, Second-row, or loose forward/lock, during the era of contested scrums.

Luke Cheyne – Openside Flanker

Clubs: Barkers’ Butts RFC, England Deaf, Sedgely Park, Sale FC
International: England
Coventry Connection: Plays for Barkers’ Butts RFC.

Luke Cheyne is an openside flanker who plays for Barkers’ Butts RFC and has captained Englands Deaf Rugby Union team.

Danny Grewcock – Lock, Second Row

Date of Birth: 7 November 1972
Place of Birth: Coventry, England
Clubs: Coventry, Saracens, Bath
International: England (69 caps)
Coventry Connection: Birthplace, and played 33 times for Coventry RFC.

In 1996–97 he moved into the professional ranks with Coventry. It would be Coventry’s most successful period of the modern era, coming within touching distance of the Premiership. Despite their second- tier status, both Grewcock and team mate Rob Hardwick were capped by England in this era. He played 69 times in all for England and was selected for two Lions tours, 2001 tour of Australia and again in 2005 tour of New Zealand.

Neil Back – Flanker

Date of Birth: 16 January 1969
Place of Birth: Coventry, England
Clubs: Nottingham R.F.C., Leicester Tigers
International: England (66 caps)
Coventry Connection: Born and educated in Coventry.

Back was born in Coventry, where he attended The Woodlands School between September 1980 and July 1987. Back learnt his trade at junior clubs in Coventry, Earlsdon RFC and Barker’s Butts RFC and went on to represent England at Schools, Colts, U21 and Saxons levels before making his full England debut against Scotland in 1994. He began his senior playing career in 1988 for Nottingham.

In 1990 he joined Leicester Tigers and remained there for the next 18 years as a player & coach gaining 339 caps and scoring a club record (for a forward) 125 tries.

Harry Walker – Prop

Date of Birth: 11 February 1915
Place of Birth: Coventry, England
Clubs: Coventry R.F.C.
International: England (9 caps)
Coventry Connection: Born and played in Coventry.

A true Coventry legend – England’s oldest-surviving international who celebrated his 102nd birthday in February 2017. A product of the renowned Coventry schools system, Harry made his first appearance for Cov at the age of 17 as a flanker in the second XV. After two games he was converted to prop and at 18 he broke into the first XV where he stayed for some 20 years. Harry’s career was interrupted by World War 2 and it was 1947 before he was first capped by England. The only ever-present for England in both the 1947 and 1947 Five Nations tournaments, he won a total of nine caps. After he finished playing Harry went on to fill every major role at Coventry up to president and remains the club patron.

Bill Gittings – Scrum-Half

Date of Birth: 5 October 1938
Place of Birth: Coventry, England
Clubs: Coventry R.F.C., Barkers’ Butts RFC
International: England (1 cap)
Coventry Connection: Born and played in Coventry.

A local lad who played for both Barkers’ Butts RFC and Coventry RFC. Bill acheived his England cap in the first rugby match broadcast in colour the 1967 England vs New Zealand encounter. New Zealand went on to win the tie 23-11.

Above are just some of the rugby stars who have been born, taught or played rugby in Coventry. We will add to this list as the stars of today forge their own careers. Coventry R.F.C have their own illustrious history so visit their hall of fame for a comprehensive list of their past greats.

Danny Grewcock, Neil Back, Tom Wood, Phil Judd – Photos Credit: Coventry Telegraph.