Graham Christopher Rowntree (born 18 April 1971) is a former English rugby union player and current coach. He played loosehead prop for Leicester Tigers and England. He was capped 54 times for England, despite having to compete for his position with the world's second most capped forward, Jason Leonard.
|Birth name||Graham Christopher Rowntree|
|Date of birth||18 April 1971|
|Place of birth||Stockton-on-Tees, England|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||110 kg (17 st 5 lb)|
|School||John Cleveland College|
|Rugby union career|
In 1988 he joined Leicester Tigers from Nuneaton and made his first-team debut against Oxford University in 1990. For much of that time he was in harness with the famous ‘ABC club’ alongside Richard Cockerill and Darren Garforth. At Leicester Rowntree enjoyed great domestic success, and started both the 2001 and 2002 Heineken Cup finals.
In 1993 he made his England A, Barbarians and Midlands debuts, and on 18 March 1995 he gained his first full England cap against Scotland in the Five Nations tournament as a temporary replacement for Jason Leonard. He subsequently played in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. He also made the 1997 British Lions tour to South Africa, playing 6 games and the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
After the 1999 World Cup Graham was not capped for almost 2 years until a series of fine performances for his club forced him back into international contention. He was prominent throughout the pre-2003 Rugby World Cup years. He was selected for the England squad to tour Canada and the US in 2001, participated in all that season's Autumn internationals — being named as man of the match in England's 21–15 Cook Cup victory over Australia — and started in each of the 2002 Six Nations games. He started in England's 15–13 win over New Zealand in Wellington in 2003 and put in a particularly memorable performance against the All Blacks when England's pack was reduced to just 6 men. Despite playing in the 2003 pre-World Cup trial match in France, Rowntree was omitted from Clive Woodward's squad, which won the tournament. Clive Woodward admitted that leaving Rowntree behind was one of the hardest decisions he had to make in his time as England head coach.
He retired from rugby in 2007 after 17 years playing the game, and he joined the Tigers coaching team where he made a rapid rise up the coaching ranks, becoming the Forwards/Scrum coach for the English national team ahead of the 2008 Six Nations Championship. He toured South Africa with the British and Irish Lions acting as Scrum coach, then being named Forwards coach for the winning test series in 2013.
On 15 December 2015, following the resignation of head coach Stuart Lancaster on 11 November 2015, newly appointed head coach Eddie Jones sacked the whole coaching team, with Rowntree leaving his post with England after 8 years.
At the end of the 2015–16 English Premiership (rugby union), it was announced that Harlequin F.C. had appointed him as the new forwards coach. Rowntree joined the Georgian national team in 2018, and left after the 2019 Rugby World Cup to join Irish province Munster as their new forwards coach.
- Graham Rowntree player profile ESPN Scrum.com
- "European glory seals Leicester treble". BBC. 19 May 2001. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- "Tigers retain European Cup". BBC. 25 May 2002. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
- Graham Rowntree, Mike Catt and Andy Farrell leave England roles
- "Graham Rowntree To Join Munster Rugby". Munster Rugby. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
- "Contract News & Squad Update". Munster Rugby. 29 October 2019. Retrieved 29 October 2019.