|Birth name||Matthew Andrew Banahan|
|Date of birth||30 December 1986|
|Place of birth||St Helier, Jersey|
|Height||2.01 m (6 ft 7 in)|
|Weight||110 kg (17 st 5 lb; 243 lb) |
|Rugby union career|
Matthew Andrew Banahan (born 30 December 1986) is a Jerseyman who plays rugby union for Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership and England in international rugby union. His main position is wing, however he can also operate as an inside or outside centre.
Banahan grew up playing field hockey, earning selection to the Jersey and West of England junior representative sides before he decided his hockey career was stalled and switching to rugby union. Banahan went to La Moye school, Les Quennevais School and Highlands College.
Banahan moved to Bath in the summer of 2006, after previously appearing for the London Irish Academy and was brought to the Recreation Ground as a lock. He had also been involved with the RFU's Junior National Academy set-up and, England's sevens set up.
He switched to wing where his powerful combination of size, strength and speed made him a potent weapon in the Bath United and Development sides, for whom he scored ten tries in fourteen games last season.
Quickly promoted to the first team from the Academy set up, Banahan made 26 first grade appearances and finished the 2007/08 season as the club's top try scorer (16) and the Guinness Premiership regular season's second highest (10) behind Leicester's Tom Varndell (13).
Banahan was selected for the "wider" England Sevens squad in the 2007-08 IRB Sevens World Series, which refers to a pool of players who supplement the 11 core squad members. As a member of the wider squad, he was eligible for selection for up to four of the eight events in the tournament. He was also selected for the England Saxons squad to play in the 2008 Churchill Cup. He celebrated his Saxons debut by scoring a hat trick in a 64–10 victory over the USA in the opening round. He then scored two tries against Ireland A and one in the final against Scotland A.
Banahan played for England on Saturday 30 May 2009 against the Barbarians at Twickenham in an uncapped game where he scored a try. He was called up to the England squad for their summer tour replacing David Strettle who was ruled out through injury. He made his full England debut on 6 June 2009 in a comfortable win over Argentina at Old Trafford where he also scored a try and was named 'Man of the Match'. He retained his place for England's 2009 Autumn series against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand, and scored his third international try in the win against Argentina.
Banahan made his first start in the centre for England during their 2010 Autumn series, playing at outside centre in the game versus Samoa on 20 November 2010. He scored a try when England were trailing 6–8, and set up England's second through an intercepted pass. On the back of this performance, he was named on the bench for England's final game of 2010 against South Africa.
- "RFU Official Site of the RFU, Governing Body of Rugby Union in England". web page. RFU. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- "Banahan selected for England squad". BBC Jersey. 5 September 2006. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
- "Travagli and Banahan join Bath". Bath Rugby. 12 June 2006. Archived from the original on 27 November 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
- "Matt Banahan will leave Bath Rugby for Gloucester Rugby at the end of the season". bath Chronicle. 10 January 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
- "England Squad for 2008 Churchill Cup". England Rugby. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
- Henson, Mike (20 November 2010). "England 26–13 Samoa". BBC News.
- "England recall quartet to face SA". BBC News. 25 November 2010.