Matt Perry (rugby union)

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Matt Perry
Full name Matthew Brendan Perry
Date of birth (1977-01-27) 27 January 1977 (age 40)
Place of birth Bath, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight 13 st 12 lb (194 lb; 88 kg)
School Millfied School
Notable relative(s) Idris Perry, Brendan Perry, Lucy Gray (niece)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Full Back
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1997–2006 Bath 221 (561)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)

Matthew Brendan Perry (born 27 January 1977 in Bath) was an English rugby union rugby player who played full back for Bath. He played internationally for England and the British and Irish Lions.


A talented cricketer, at Millfield School he captained a side including Ben Hollioake, later an England international. Perry played his club rugby at Bath. He was expected to play in the victorious 1998 Heineken Cup Final as they defeated Brive, however Perry was a replacement having lost his place to Jon Callard, who went on to score all 19 of Bath's points in the match.[1]

England coach Clive Woodward, who had previously been backs' coach for Bath RFC selected Perry for his first match in charge against Australia in Autumn 1997. Perry played solidly; he preferred to run with the ball in hand rather than to kick it, and in so doing often managed to establish a target for his forwards.

In 1998, Perry went on England's "Tour to Hell" of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. During the 76–0 defeat by Australia, he played out of position at centre.

Aged 23, Perry beat Jonathan Webb's record to become England's most capped full back with 35 caps in the position, a record that has since been overtaken by Mike Brown. Perry went on the 2001 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia, playing in all three tests. A back injury and loss of form saw him dropped from the England squad for Iain Balshaw; he later made way for both Jason Robinson and Josh Lewsey. Perry made his last appearance for England in 2001 when he played against France.

In 2004/5 he became a regular name on the Bath team sheet again. However, a bulging disc in his back resulted in spasms in his left leg, and he retired from playing rugby on 27 March 2007.[2]

Perry now works for a management consultancy company based near Bath.

He shares his second name with his father Brendan who was an outstanding fly half for Bath from 1960 to 1974 making 247 appearances. Grandfather Idris also played for Bath in the 1940s.


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