- Date of Birth26 Feb 1958
The road to captaincy of club and country began with Paul Dodge’s Leicester Tigers debut as a 17-year-old in 1975.
The Leicester-born centre came through the junior rugby set-up in the county and the new Tigers youth team to make his mark at senior level, spending 16 years in the first-team squad at Welford Road.
Dodge made an immediate impression in senior company, gaining his player’s tie for 20 appearances before his 18th birthday and completing 100 appearances before the age of 21.
Tall, elegant and strong, Dodge was a talent in attack and defence, as well as providing a powerful left boot.
He helped Tigers to six cup finals and captained the inaugural winners of the Courage Clubs’ Championship – the country’s first national league competition – in 1988.
Capped by England at Colts and Under-23 level, Dodge reached full international status in 1978 and captained the national side in 1985, including a summer your to New Zealand.
His career included 437 appearances for Tigers – putting him fifth on the all-time list – and collected 32 caps for England as well as playing two Tests for the British & Irish Lions in South Africa in 1980 after playing a part in England’s Grand Slam that year.
Retiring as England’s most-capped centre, Dodge maintained a link with Tigers in a coaching role and then in work with the next generation of players at the club’s Academy.