- Date of Birth16 Dec 1969
A dynamo in the back row, a noted linkman between attack and defence, and an expert at the breakdown, Neil Back won every honour available to a player with Tigers and England. Scorer of a phenomenal 125 tries (good enough for eighth on the club’s all-time list) in 339 appearances between 1990 and 2005, he won five league titles, a Pilkington Cup and back-to-back Heineken Cups with Tigers and collected 66 caps for England, three as captain. A Rugby World Cup winner in 2003, Back also made three Lions tours.
His achievements in pure statistical terms were notable, but in an era when national coaches believed ‘bigger was better,’ Back had to wait for an opportunity to show that fitness, skill and technical prowess could combine to match and beat even the biggest. once he the chance, though, he took it and a third Lions tour merely emphasised not just his ability but his durability too.
He later coached at Tigers, won promotion as Leeds head coach and had spells with Edinburgh and Rugby Lions.