Dickie Jeeps

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Richard Eric Gautrey Jeeps (born 25 November 1931), known as Dickie Jeeps, was an English rugby union player who played for Northampton and represented and captained both the England national rugby union team and the British Lions in the 1950s and 1960s. He subsequently became a sports administrator and Chairman of the Sports Council. He was awarded the CBE in 1977.[1]


Born in Chesterton (England), Jeeps played scrum half 24 times for England including all four matches of the Grand Slam season of 1957. Jeeps was selected to join the British Lions party to tour South Africa in 1955 and is one of that select group of players capped for the British Lions before being capped by his country. Jeeps felt that his selection for the Lions was due to playing an invitation match with Cliff Morgan in Cornwall shortly before the Lions party was announced. "I think Cliff got me in the party because he liked my service." Despite being originally the third choice scrum half in the 1955 squad, he played in all four tests of the drawn series.[2]

He was also selected for the 1959 British Lions tour to Australia and New Zealand and the 1962 British Lions tour to South Africa, bringing his Lions test appearances to 13, a record at the time.

In 1959 Jeeps' ability to serve up decent possession from apparently any angle led New Zealanders to dub him "the India-rubber Man". They also rated him the most complete footballer of the Lions' backs, high praise indeed when the Lions party included Bev Risman, David Hewitt, Tony O'Reilly, Peter Jackson and Ken Scotland.

In 1962 the South Africans also rated him amongst the best of the visiting backs, although this time he caught the eye as much for his astute marshalling of his pack as for skill as an instigator of flashing attacks. He captained the Lions in the final test.

Jeeps played his first match for England in 1956 and his last in 1962. He captained England 13 times with a captaincy record of played 13, won five, drawn four, lost four. His twenty-four caps remained a record for an England scrum-half for twenty years, until Steve Smith surpassed it.

In later life Jeeps was President of the Rugby Football Union in 1976-77 and Chairman of the Sports Council for seven years.


  1. ^ "Who's Who 1998", Published by A&C Black Limited, 1998
  2. ^ Edwards, Jon; Coyle, Danny (21 April 2009). "Surprise Lions selections". London: www.independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jeff Butterfield
English National Rugby Union Captain
Succeeded by
Richard Sharp