Josh Lewsey

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Josh Lewsey
Josh Lewsey.jpg
Full name Owen Joshua Lewsey
Date of birth (1976-11-30) 30 November 1976 (age 38)
Place of birth Bromley, London, England
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 87 kg (13 st 10 lb)[1]
School Watford Boys Grammar School
University Bristol University
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Fullback, Wing, Centre
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Amersham & Chiltern RFC
Old Fullerians RFC
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1998-2009, 2011
London Wasps
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
British and Irish Lions
correct as of 1 Sept 2006.
Sevens national teams
Years Club / team Comps
2002-2008 England
correct as of 1 Sept 2006.

Owen Joshua "Josh" Lewsey MBE (born 30 November 1976) is a former English rugby union footballer who played fullback, wing or occasionally centre for Wasps and England.[2] He is the current head of rugby for the Welsh Rugby Union.[3]


Lewsey was born in Bromley, London and grew up in Watford, Hertfordshire, where he attended Sarratt Church of England School and later Watford Grammar School for Boys.[4] He played for the Amersham and Chiltern Rugby Football Club. He joined Wasps at eighteen and played for their Colts side and was under-21 captain.

Despite the fact that he was born in England and has always lived in England, he could have qualified for Wales as his mother is Welsh and his father is half-Welsh and half-English. He played for Bristol whilst attending Bristol University and rejoined Wasps at the age of twenty-one after completing his studies.[5][6] He won his first England cap on the 1998 "Tour of Hell" to Australia and also appeared in all three tests in the 2001 North American tour. He graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2001 and served for two years as an officer in the British Army with the Royal Artillery, before opting to play professional rugby union thereafter.


Lewsey made his England home-début in the Six Nations Championship in 2003 after an injury to Jason Robinson. He scored twice in a 40–5 win over Italy. He followed this with the opening try in his next game against Scotland, and was part of the Grand Slam winning side. He played well for Wasps and England A, and was an important member of the England side that won the Hong Kong Sevens in 2002. He also represented England in sevens at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

He had a key part in the tests against New Zealand and Australia on the June 2003 Southern-hemisphere tour. By then he was first-choice Full back, Jason Robinson having moved to wing. He was a part of the 2003 World Cup winning squad, and scored five tries in the 111–13 defeat of Uruguay.

Lewsey played on the right wing against Italy and Scotland in the 2004 Six Nations Championship. He scored a try in both games, and was named Man of the Match at Murrayfield.

He was selected for the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand. He made an ideal start scoring two tries in the first five minutes against Bay of Plenty.

He was selected for the 2006 Six Nations Squad, but unfortunately was injured early on in the first match of the championship against Wales with an injury to his left AC joint, he consequently missed the following match against Italy, he did however return for the next game against Scotland.

In 2006 Lewsey was given the summer off from international rugby and spent time climbing in the Himalayas reaching the base camp of K2. He did not inform his club, London Wasps, of the expedition as he was sure they would object.

At the Middlesex 7s he scored 11 tries, and became the tournament's top try and points scorer, helping Wasps win their first Middlesex 7s title since 1993. He appeared again for the 2007 Six Nations opener against Scotland.

For London Wasps he has participated in many major title victories, the latest being the Guinness Premiership Cup win in 2007/2008 when he scored a try in Wasp's 26-16 win over Leicester.

Lewsey featured heavily in England's campaign to retain the Rugby World Cup in 2007, scoring the only try against France in the 14-9 victory which put England into the final. However, just before half-time in the same match he picked up a hamstring injury which ruled him out of the final.

England's coach Brian Ashton did not select Lewsey for the England squad to compete in the 2008 Six Nations squad. However, he was called up for Martin Johnson's England Squad for 2008/2009. He announced his retirement from international rugby in December 2009 to concentrate on his club career.[7]

On 24 March 2011 it was announced that Lewsey had agreed to come out of retirement to play for London Wasps until the end of the season.[8]


On 10 December 2008 it was confirmed that Lewsey would be retiring from international rugby to concentrate on his club career, ending his time in the England set-up, which spanned more than 10 years and claiming 55 caps with 22 tries scored.[9]

Lewsey released his autobiography on 5 February 2009 titled "One Chance: My Life and Rugby". While rugby heavily features in his book, he also covers more personal aspects of his life and general views on issues such as the countryside and importance of sports in communities.

On 5 April 2009, Lewsey announced that he would retire from Rugby at the end of the 2008/09 season. Although he had aspirations to make the 2009 British and Irish Lions team for the tour to South Africa he was not picked.[10]

As an avid climber, Lewsey has opted for a complete career change and the opportunity to further his mountain exploits. Lewsey and his friend Keith Reesby were unsuccessful in their attempt to climb to the summit of Mount Everest via the difficult North Col route, in May 2010. Both climbers were within 500 feet of the summit when breathing apparatus failure caused them to abandon the ascent. Lewsey admitted afterwards that "He had never felt so scared" as the two climbers attempted to descend before running out of oxygen. Following this expedition he joined PricewaterhouseCoopers as a management consultant, working in the area of organisational performance.

In September 2011, Lewsey became an employee of Citigroup Global Markets Ltd. as a sales trader.[11]

In March 2013, he took up the role of Acting CEO at The Cornish Pirates after the long standing CEO, Rod Coward, stood down. According to the club, he will hold the position until September 2013.

On 30 August 2013, Lewsey was appointed Head of Rugby at the Welsh Rugby Union


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