Brent Pope (rugby analyst)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Brent Pope
Full name Brent Pope
Nickname Popey
Date of birth (1962-10-27) 27 October 1962 (age 54)
Place of birth New Zealand
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 105 kg (17 st 2 lb, 240 lb)[1]

Brent Pope (born 27 October 1962), is a New Zealand rugby analyst on RTÉ television, rugby journalist, charity worker, children's book author, after dinner speaker, founder of Outside in Art Gallery in Dublin Ireland and owner of POPE shirts. He was born, raised and spent his rugby playing career in New Zealand, but has lived and worked in Ireland for most of his broadcasting career.

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 Randell, Josh Kronfeld, Arran 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.[2]

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 win the AIB League First Division title with St Marys RFC in 1999/2000,[3] 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.


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 Ireland's hottest male television stars, and in 2012/13 he was nominated as one of Ireland's best dressed men. in 2013 Brent launched his own fashion label called POPE and is in over 30 retail stores in Ireland.

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.[3] Brent is involved in several mental health charities, and is an ambassador for St Patricks Hospital Walk in My Shoes, Cycle Against Suicide, and RTÉ's people of the year among many others. This year[when?] Brent will release his own clothing brand called POPE.[citation needed]

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[4] and by Liam Toland, Paddy Johns and Angus McKeen in June 2012. In September 2013 Brent visited Argentina to continue building houses in disadvantaged areas with PUMA rugby legends including Argentine Captain Felipe Contepomi.[5][6]


Brent is a regular print journalist for the Evening Echo, Daily Mail and various other magazines such as Village[7] and Emerald Rugby.

He has also published a series of award winning children's books[8] for charity. 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


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 August 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-24. 
  2. ^ "Brent Pope – Personally Speaking Bureau". Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Brent Pope –". Retrieved 31 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "Rugby Legends Trip 2011 - Habitat for Humanity Ireland". Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  5. ^ "Legends in Zambia June 2012 - Habitat for Humanity Ireland". Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Brent Pope WebMii
  8. ^ "Pope & Hook on The Restaurant". RTÉ. Retrieved 3 January 2010.