Chris Pennell (born 26 April 1987) is an English rugby union player. He currently plays for Worcester Warriors in the Aviva Premiership. He plays as a fullback or wing if needed. He's a former captain of Worcester, and currently resides in Worcester with his young family. Pennell is also an ambassador for diabetes, which he was diagnosed with at nineteen years old. He has played for England , earning 1 cap in 2014.
|Birth name||Christopher James Pennell|
|Date of birth||26 April 1987|
|Place of birth||Worcester, England|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||95 kg (14 st 13 lb)|
|School||Old Swinford Hospital|
|Rugby union career|
He is the son of former England cricketer Graham Dilley. After his parents' marriage broke down, Pennell's mother married a British Army soldier, and Pennell took his surname. The family moved to Portadown, Northern Ireland, where he was educated at Millington Primary School, and was a member of the victorious Gilpin cup side in 1999. Returning to England, he was educated at Old Swinford Hospital School in Stourbridge where he played a key part in their run to the semi-finals of the Daily Mail Cup. Although head boy, he turned down the chance to captain the cricket first XI because of his A-levels.
Having been offered a professional contract at Worcester Warriors, he delayed his offer of a university place, making his Guinness Premiership debut against Bath Rugby in 2007/08, and representing England at Under 19 level. He became a key performer for the club during the 2008–09 English Premiership campaign, until he suffered a serious knee injury in Europe. He returned to full fitness, and grabbed tries against Connacht Rugby and Olympus Rugby XV Madrid in Europe during the 2009/10 season, making 16 appearances during the campaign and scoring five tries.
After signing a new two-year deal in February 2010, he became club captain for the 2010-11 RFU Championship campaign. In that campaign Worcester won 30 out of 31 games. After winning the play-off against Bedford Blues at Sixways and both legs of the play-off final, Worcester secured promotion to the Premiership for the 2011–12 season. Pennell has been unlucky with injuries, suffering a severe ankle injury, a serious knee injury and the mental injury of his father Graham Dilley passing away.
In 2014, after a season of being Warriors' top performer, and the fans plus Dean Ryan himself supporting claims for Pennell to be in the England Squad, Pennell was called up to the England training squad by coach Stuart Lancaster, and in May he flew out with the squad for the Barbarians' fixtures. He made his England debut during the tour, coming off the bench in the 20–15 loss to New Zealand.
- "Aviva Premiership Rugby – Worcester Warriors". web page. Premier Rugby. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
- http://www.rfu.com/pdfs/U19MediaGuide_2006wc.pdf[permanent dead link]
- Brendan Gallagher (20 December 2007). "Chris Pennell chooses oval ball". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- Mark Souster (27 December 2008). "Chris Pennell making name for himself". The Times. London. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- "Worcester Warriors 25–20 Cornish Pirates (agg 46–32)". BBC Sport. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- "Mike Brown: Harlequins full-back one of 21 added by England". BBC Sport. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
- "New Zealand beat England 20–15 through late Conrad Smith try". BBC Sport. 7 June 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2016.