Neil Clark (rugby union)

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Neil Clark
Date of birth (1981-10-08) 8 October 1981 (age 35)
Place of birth London, England
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 107 kg (16 st 12 lb)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Hooker
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1999-2003
2003-2007
2007

2007
2007-2008

2008-2013
2013-2014
Exeter
Bristol
Cornish All Blacks
Bath
Cornish All Blacks
Exeter Chiefs
Oyonnax
()

Neil Clark (born 8 October 1981)[1] is an English former rugby union player. His position of choice was hooker.

Rugby career[edit]

Clark first played rugby for the youth sides at Helston RFC,[2] before moving on to Exeter. Clark made his debut for Exeter on 9 October 1999 at the age of 18 as a substitute against Orrell R.U.F.C..[3] He made his full debut two seasons later against Bedford[4] and made a handful of starts, before dropping back out of regular first team contention for the next couple of seasons.

In 2003, Clark moved to Bristol. In his second season with the club he scored the winning try in the penultimate match against Orrell that saw Bristol promoted to the Premiership. Clark injured his anterior cruciate ligament in pre-season training before the 2006-07 season[5] and was released by Bristol in February 2007 during his rehabilitation.

Towards the end of the season, Clark moved to Cornish All Blacks and made several appearances in their successful push for promotion from National Division Two, scoring the final try of the season against Cambridge R.U.F.C..[6] Clark began the 2007-08 season at Bath, where he provided squad cover during the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He returned to Cornish All Blacks in December for the remainder of the season, in which the club was relegated back to National Division Two.

Clark returned to Exeter, now rebranded the Exeter Chiefs, for the 2008-09 season. He scored a try in the opening match of the season at Esher RFC,[7] but a broken ankle in a later match brought the season to a premature end. However, Clark played a full role in Exeter’s following season, in which the club were promoted from the RFU Championship into the Premiership, and was voted Players’ Player of the Season.[8]

Clark played a role in Exeter’s first three Premiership seasons, sometimes as starting hooker, sometimes from the substitute bench. The final Premiership match of the 2011-12 season saw Clark make his 150th appearance for the club.[9]

It was announced on 23 April 2013 that Clark would join newly promoted French side Oyonnax.[10] After helping Oyonnax survive in the Top 14 in his first season with the club, Clark suffered a neck injury and was forced to announce his retirement from the sport in November 2014.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Neil Clark". ESPN. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  2. ^ Clark and Manning 2012, p.40.
  3. ^ Clark and Manning 2012, p.52.
  4. ^ Clark and Manning 2012, p.67.
  5. ^ Clark and Manning 2012, p.101.
  6. ^ Clark and Manning 2012, p.110.
  7. ^ Clark and Manning 2012, p.121.
  8. ^ Clark and Manning 2012, p.145.
  9. ^ Clark and Manning 2012, p.267.
  10. ^ "Oyonnax sign 11 new players". Planet Rugby. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 

References[edit]

  • Clark, Neil; Manning, Stephen (2012). It Was Never My Ambition To Become A Hooker. Chequered Flag Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9569460-2-7. 

External links[edit]