Matt Dawson

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"Matthew Dawson" redirects here. For the racehorse trainer, see Mathew Dawson.
Matt Dawson
Full name Matthew James Sutherland Dawson
Date of birth (1972-10-31) 31 October 1972 (age 41)
Place of birth Birkenhead, England
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 13.10 st (83.2 kg)
School RGS High Wycombe
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Scrum-half
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
Marlow Rugby Club
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1991–2004
2004–2006
Northampton
London Wasps
246
44
(693)
(30)
correct as of 13 July 2014.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1995–2006
1997, 2001, 2005
England
British and Irish Lions
77
7
(101)
(10)
correct as of 13 July 2014.
Sevens national teams
Years Club / team Comps
1993 England 1993 Sevens World Cup

Matthew James Sutherland "Matt" Dawson, MBE (born 31 October 1972) is a retired English rugby union player who played scrum half for Wasps and Northampton Saints. During his international career he toured with the British and Irish Lions three times and was part of England's 2003 Rugby World Cup winning side. He won 77 caps for his country in total, including nine as captain and is England's most capped scrum half.[1]

Dawson was best known for his trademark 'sniping runs' and played the whistle well, often scoring tries from 'tap and go' penalties. When called upon, he could also demonstrate his versatility by kicking goals.

Since retiring, Dawson has become a team captain on A Question of Sport besides appearing on various reality shows and is a commentator and presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live's rugby programme.[2][3] Dawson currently works as a health ambassador for Sodexo, a global food and facilities provider. In early 2014, he was appointed as director for business development at Instant, a global workspace provider.[4]

Rugby career[edit]

Club[edit]

Dawson joined Northampton in 1991 after leaving school and was among the last generation of players to have started their careers during the amateur era.[5] Before rugby turned professional in 1995 he worked as a security guard and coached at Spratton Hall School.[6][7] He formed a successful half-back partnership with Paul Grayson, winning the 2000 Heineken Cup and finishing runner-up in the Anglo-Welsh Cup three times. In the club's 130th anniversary poll he and Grayson were voted by fans into the all-time dream XV.[8]

In 2004 Dawson moved from Northampton to Wasps after his contract was not renewed and won the Premiership title in his first season.

On 7 April 2006, Dawson announced that he would be retiring from rugby completely at the end of the season and on 14 May 2006 he played his last game of premiership rugby, when Sale denied Wasps their chance of winning the Premiership title 4 years in a row and so equalling Leicester's record. [9]

International[edit]

In 1993, Dawson was a member of the England Sevens team which won the inaugural Sevens World Cup in Scotland. Dawson and competition teammate Lawrence Dallaglio are therefore the only players to have won the World Cup at both the 15- and 7-a-side games.[10]

Dawson made his international debut for England in December 1995, against Western Samoa, but would have to fight with Andy Gomarsall, Austin Healey but mostly Kyran Bracken for the England number 9 shirt.

Dawson went on the 1997 British Lions tour to South Africa as third-choice scrum half behind Rob Howley and Austin Healey but injury to Howley and some good performances saw him make the starting line-up. In the first test with ten minutes to go, Dawson broke from the base of a scrum and threw an overhead dummy that checked the four Springboks allowing him to scamper in for the winning try. That victory was the start of a 2–1 series win, clinched when he fed Jeremy Guscott for the series-winning drop goal.

Dawson captained England for the first time when he was chosen as captain for the infamous 1998 "tour from hell" in the absence of more experienced internationals.[11] Despite the disastrous results he would go on to establish himself in the starting XV. He became first-choice scrum half at the 1999 Rugby World Cup after Bracken's withdrawal due to injury and scored England's first try of the competition just 8 minutes into the opening match, a 67–7 win, against Italy.[12]

He was captain in the 2000 Six Nations and often in the absence of Martin Johnson.

In the 2001 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia, Dawson went as second-choice scrum half behind Howley. Howley played in the first two tests but was injured for the third, where Dawson played. Controversially however, Dawson was one of the mid-week side opposed to the training regime of coach Graham Henry and publicly criticised him, although this did not cause as much stir as Healey's similar comments. He and Healey avoided being sent home but were fined by the disciplinary committee.[13] Later in the week he redeemed himself by converting Healey's try during extra time to win a closely tied match against the Brumbies.[14]

Dawson's career nearly ended after sustaining a neck injury during the record 53–3 win against South Africa in November 2002 when he was headbutted by Springbok skipper Corné Krige.[15] He became an integral part of the England side, winning his 50th cap against Ireland on the same day England won the 2003 Six Nations Grand Slam.[3] That same year he was a crucial part of the team that won the World Cup. He played a vital role in winning the final tie against Australia in Sydney on 22 November 2003. With less than a minute remaining in extra time he made a completely unexpected break gaining a vital 20 metres upfield. From the subsequent ruck he fed the ball to Jonny Wilkinson for the winning drop goal.[16][17]

In the autumn of 2004 he failed to turn up to an England training camp due to a previously arranged commitment to appear on A Question of Sport, resulting in him being dropped from the England squad for the 2004 Autumn internationals. A return to the 2005 Six Nations was expected and Dawson rejoined the Elite Player Squad for the tournament, playing well enough to earn a place on the 2005 British Lions tour to New Zealand, managed by Sir Clive Woodward.

Dawson returned to the England fold in 2005 but had limited opportunities in a disappointing Six Nations campaign as Harry Ellis started at number nine for four of the five matches.

Media career[edit]

In 2004, Dawson joined the long-running BBC TV quiz show A Question of Sport, featuring as a regular team captain opposite Ally McCoist and more recently, Phil Tufnell. [18]

In September 2006, he appeared in BBC One's Celebrity MasterChef programme, beating Roger Black and Hardeep Singh Kohli, to win the final.

He took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2006, partnered by Lilia Kopylova. Although appearing initially to be an unlikely contender, he came second, only beaten in the final by cricketer Mark Ramprakash. He later returned to the show in 2008 to dance with Elaine Paige in Sport Relief does Strictly Come Dancing to raise money for Sport Relief, where they came second.

In January 2007, it was announced that Matt Dawson would be joining BBC Radio Five Live as summariser for the commentary on England's forthcoming Six Nations Championship games. He went on to cover the 2007 Rugby World Cup for the BBC.[19] He also presents 5-Live's weekly Rugby show. He was recently on an edition of www.888.com TV poker special where he ended up coming a very close second.

2008 saw Matt Dawson co-hosting Mitch and Matt's Big Fish, a seafood lovers tour of the British coast, in which he and Mitch Tonks tasted and cooked a variety of fish dishes using the catch of the British fishing ports.

In 2010, Matt hosted Monster Munchies for Good Food, where he challenged two teams to make a monster sized local delicacy in 24 hours which were unveiled at a local show and were judged on size, presentation and taste, the size they were aiming for is that of a small car.

Charitable work[edit]

Matt is the 2013 President of children's medical research charity Sparks, who's mission is to ensure that all babies are born healthy and stay healthy. Matt attended their 2012 Winter Ball along with other supporters of the charity such as Lady Gabriella Windsor, who was in attendance in place of her mother, Sparks Royal Patron, Princess Michael of Kent.

Matt Dawson in Johannesburg with pupils of a UNICEF-funded school.

He is an Honorary President of the rugby charity Wooden Spoon improving the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in Britain and Ireland. He posed nude in the women's magazine Cosmopolitan in support of the testicular and prostate cancer charity Everyman.

Matt has been supporting the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) since 2004, and became a UNICEF UK ambassador in 2009. In June 2009, Matt took time out while broadcasting for the Lions tour in South Africa to visit UNICEF programmes focusing on education, shelter and HIV/AIDS.

He completed the 2007 London Marathon for charity in 4 hours 35 minutes and 39 seconds.

  • Patron of The National Hospital Development Foundation (NHDF)
  • Patron of Beating Bowel Cancer – a leading UK charity for bowel cancer patients, working to raise awareness of symptoms, promote early diagnosis and encourage open access to treatment choice for those affected by bowel cancer.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Birkenhead, Merseyside, Dawson was raised in Buckinghamshire and attended the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe after passing the 11+ exam.[20][21] While in school he excelled in cricket and football before deciding to concentrate on rugby.[22]

He is married to former model Carolin Hauskeller, now a marketing manager, and they have a son.

Dawson is a supporter of Everton F.C..[23][24]

In 2012 on the CBBC series 12 Again Dawson revealed at age twelve he played an extra in the video to Culture Club's song The War Song in 1984 dressed as up as a skeleton.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "England records – Most matches by starting position". ESPN Scrum. 
  2. ^ "England's Heroes: Where are they now?". ESPN Scrum. 29 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "English Rugby's Fifty-Cap Club – Matt Dawson profile: England rugby scrum half". Daily Telegraph. 13 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Matt Dawson MBE joins Instant as director for business development.". Instant Group. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Dawson happy to get his kicks off the field". The Guardian. 10 November 2005. 
  6. ^ "Matt Dawson: my Saturday job". The Guardian. 2 September 2011. 
  7. ^ Matt Dawson: Nine Lives. Willow Publishing. 2011. ISBN 978-0007165674. 
  8. ^ "Dawson dominates to link up with Grayson". northamptonsaints.co.uk. 29 July 2011. 
  9. ^ "World Cup winner Dawson to retire". BBC Sport. 7 April 2006. Retrieved 5 February 2007. 
  10. ^ "Sport Editors: Magnificent Sevens". BBC. 24 May 2007. 
  11. ^ "Captain's call for Dawson". Bucks Free Press. 16 May 1998. 
  12. ^ "Flying start for awesome England". BBC. 2 October 1999. 
  13. ^ "Henderson – Lessons for the Lions". BBC Sport. 19 May 2005. 
  14. ^ "Dawson's redemptive strike". Daily Telegraph. 3 July 2001. 
  15. ^ "Autumns to remember". ESPN Scrum. 4 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "Rugby World Cup 2011: winning half-back combinations in pictures". Daily Telegraph. 
  17. ^ "How the Cup was won and lost". BBC Sport. 23 November 2003. 
  18. ^ "Matt Dawson joins A Question of Sport". BBC Press Office. 10 September 2004. Retrieved 5 February 2007. 
  19. ^ "Dawson joins BBC Radio Five Live". RadioToday.co.uk. 16 January 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2007. 
  20. ^ "World Cup rugby star thanks his Wycombe school". Bucks Free Press. 28 November 2003. 
  21. ^ "Me and my school photo: Rugby star Matt Dawson". Daily Mail. 22 May 2009. 
  22. ^ "Small Talk interview: Matt Dawson". The Guardian. 12 October 2007. 
  23. ^ "Everton FC fan and former England Rugby Union star Matt Dawson tells of his love affair with the Blues". Liverpool Echo. 2 July 2011. 
  24. ^ "My Sport: Matt Dawson". Daily Telegraph. 26 November 2003. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tony Diprose
English National Rugby Union Captain
Jun–Jul 1998
Succeeded by
Martin Johnson
Preceded by
Martin Johnson
English National Rugby Union Captain
Feb–Apr 2000
Succeeded by
Martin Johnson
Preceded by
Kyran Bracken
English National Rugby Union Captain
Oct 2001
Succeeded by
Neil Back
Preceded by
Colin Jackson and Erin Boag
Strictly Come Dancing runner up
(with partner Lilia Kopylova)

Series 4 (2006)
Succeeded by
Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace