Brent Pope (rugby analyst)

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Brent Pope
Full name Brent Pope
Date of birth (1961-27-10) 10 March 1961 (age 52)
Place of birth New Zealand
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 109 kg (17 st 2 lb, 240 lb)[1]
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position No.8 or flanker

Brent Pope is a New Zealand born (1961) rugby analyst on RTÉ television, rugby journalist, charity worker, children's book author, after dinner speaker and founder of Outside in Art Gallery in Dublin Ireland.

Playing career[edit]

Brent Pope played for various provincial and New Zealand underage teams before representing Mid Canterbury and then Canterbury. Playing for Lincoln University Pope then moved to Otago University and for the next decade played for Otago at New Zealand first division level, helping Otago to its first ever first division national title in 1991. Pope played nearly 100 first class games for Otago in a career that spanned nearly 10 years with the Dunedin based side, during that time he formed potent loose forward trios with the likes of All Blacks Paul Henderson, Mike Brewer, Taine Randall, Josh Kronfield, Arane Pene and Jamie Joseph. Pope was selected in the original 1987 New Zealand Rugby World Cup training squad, but had to withdraw a week before the tournament began due to a serious elbow injury in the final series of All Black trials, he was then replaced by a young and relatively unknown Auckland No 8 by the name of Zinzan Brooke. Pope came back after injury to be nominated as one of New Zealand's outstanding domestic players of that year, Pope was named Otago player of the year in 1987/8 and was again shortlisted for the All Blacks tour to Japan at the end of that year only to miss out again when the tour party was trimmed to just 24 players. Pope played in a number of final All Black trials from 1987-1992, represented the South Island, New Zealand Schools, Universities, Leinster, Barbarians, A New Zealand selection XV, International XV and was a Captain of the Penguins Pope also played county provincial representative rugby in England and United States (OMBAC) He came to Ireland in 1991 where he played and later coached St Marys, Clontarf RFC and Leinster A.

Coaching career[edit]

Pope successfully coached both St Marys and Clontarf to 3 separate National Division AIL Rugby titles, 3 All Ireland Floodlit Cups, and 2 Leinster Senior Cups, the first in Clontarf since the 1956) Pope was the first ever Leinster based Coach to have ever won the AIB League First Division title with St Marys RFC in 1999/2000,[2] he also coached at senior provincial level with Leinster B in 2000, and established the Irish Shamrocks, a touring Irish team to New Zealand for promising Irish club players.

Celebrity[edit]

Brent has worked for RTÉ Sport for over 15 years and has also appeared in many crossover programmes such as The Restaurant, The Den, The Afternoon Show, The Hook and Popey Roadshow, The Late Late Show,The Saturday Night Show, and various Travel programmes. Brent also starred as a singer in Charity You're A Star in 2007. In 2012 he learned and played the clarinet for RTÉ reality music show Instrumental. In 2012 he released a best selling autobiography entitled Brent Pope- If you really knew me". Brent was listed at no 4 in a recent poll for Irelands hottest male television stars, and in 2012/13 he was nominated as one of Irelands best dressed men

He is also the curator of a popular art gallery for mental health artists called The Outside in Art Gallery, and has a movie script entitled Coming out to play listed with a major movie production company.

He is a regular feature on RTÉ Radio, Newstalk 106 and Murray Deaker in New Zealand and is a regular after dinner speaker.[2] Brent is involved in several mental health charities, and is an ambassador for St Patricks Hospital Walk in My Shoes, Cycle Against suicide, and RTES people of the year among many others. This year Brent will release his own clothing brand called POPE.

Brent Pope Rugby Legends Foundation[edit]

In 2009, the Brent Pope Rugby Legends Foundation joined forces with the non-profit housing charity Habitat for Humanity Ireland. Brent has visited Zambia three times with the foundation, being accompanied by rugby legends Malcolm O'Kelly in June 2011[3] and by Liam Toland, Paddy Johns and Angus McKeen in June 2012. In Sept 2013 Brent visited Argentina to continue building houses in disadvantaged areas with PUMA rugby legends including Argentine Captain Felipe Contemponi.[4][5]

Writing[edit]

Brent is a regular print journalist for the Evening Echo, Daily Mail and various other magazines such as Village[6] and Emerald Rugby.

He has also published a series of award winning children's books[7] for charity. Brent also has a website for the 2011 Rugby World Cup called Popenation.[8] In 2013 Brent released his autobiography Brent Pope "If You Really Knew Me", which was shortlisted as one of the best sporting books in the UK at the 2013 British sportsbook of the year award. Brent is also due to release Hip Hop Opotomus his latest children's book in 2014

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.brentpoperugbylegends.com/
  2. ^ a b "Baker Sports management – Brent Pope". Baker Sports Management. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  3. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/rugby-legends-trip-2011/
  4. ^ http://www.habitatireland.ie/legends-in-zambia-june-2012/
  5. ^ http://www.leinsterrugby.ie/domestic/newsroom/10089.php
  6. ^ Brent Pope WebMii
  7. ^ "Pope & Hook on The Restaurant". RTÉ. Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  8. ^ http://www.popenation.com