Chris Oti

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Chris Oti
Birth name Christopher C. Oti
Date of birth (1965-06-16) 16 June 1965 (age 53)
Place of birth Paddington, London
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 83 kg (183 lb)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing Three Quarter
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1982-1983
1983-1986
1987-1988
Millfield
Durham University
Cambridge University
()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1987-1988
1988-1993
Nottingham
Wasps
()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1988 - 1991 England 13 (32)

Chris Oti (born 16 June 1965 in London) is a former English rugby union footballer. He was a rugby winger of prodigious pace who represented England on thirteen occasions between 1988 and 1991. He was a member of the England squad that appeared in the 1991 Rugby World Cup during which he made two appearances. Chris Oti is married with 3 children

International career[edit]

Chris Oti had a brief career as a top flight rugby union player but nevertheless made a significant contribution to the history of the sport. He was the first black player since James Peters eighty years before to represent England when he made his international debut against Scotland at Murrayfield in March 1988.

In the final game of the 1988 Championship Oti scored a hat trick of tries against Ireland. As Oti scored his final try, a group from the Benedictine school Douai began singing 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot',[1] in honour of Oti. Other sections of the crowd joined in and the negro spiritual has since become an unofficial anthem of the national side.

Oti was capped five times the following season including against Romania when he scored four tries. He was selected for the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia but persistent injuries meant that he was not considered for the test side, and he also missed out on the Five Nations championships of 1990 and 1991.

However, later in 1991 he was surprisingly picked ahead of Nigel Heslop - the incumbent winger for the 1991 Five Nations and Grand Slam - for the opening World Cup match against New Zealand, and kept his place for the following game against Italy. This turned out to be his last international appearance as further injuries curtailed his career: England were forced to finish the World Cup with the same makeshift back line that they had previously finished the 1990 Five Nations championship, with Halliday (nominally a centre) on the wing, thanks to both Oti and Heslop - who took over from Oti in the group stages and quarter-final - being judged unfit to start the match.

At club level Oti represented Cambridge University, Nottingham and Wasps.

International Playing Statistics[edit]

  • 1988 v Scotland (Murrayfield) W 9-6 (5 Nations)
  • 1988 v Ireland (Twickenham) W 35-3 (5 Nations)
  • 1989 v Scotland (Twickenham) D 12-12 (5 Nations)
  • 1989 v Ireland (Dublin) W 16-3 (5 Nations)
  • 1989 v France (Twickenham) W 11-0 (5 Nations)
  • 1989 v Wales (Cardiff) L 12-9 (Five Nations)
  • 1989 v Romania (Bucharest) W 58-3
  • 1990 v Argentina (Buenos Aires) W 25-12
  • 1990 v Argentina (Buenos Aires) L 15-13
  • 1991 v Fiji (Suva) W 28-12
  • 1991 v Australia (Sydney) L 40-15
  • 1991 v New Zealand (Twickenham) L 18-12 (W.Cup)
  • 1991 v Italy (Twickenham) W 36-6 (W.Cup)
  • Career Record: P13, W8, D1, L4
  • Test Points: 32
  • Tries: 8

(R) = Replacement

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oliver Price Blood, mud and aftershave in The Observer Sunday 5 February 2006, Section O is for Oti

External links[edit]