Joe Simpson (rugby union, born 1988)

Joe Simpson (born 5 July 1988) is a rugby union player who plays scrum half for Gloucester, the England national rugby union team and represents Team GB by playing rugby sevens.

Joe Simpson
Joe Simpson 2011.jpg
England vs Georgia at 2011 Rugby World Cup
Birth nameJoe Simpson
Date of birth (1988-07-05) 5 July 1988 (age 32)
Place of birthSydney, Australia
Height1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight82 kg (12 st 13 lb)[1]
SchoolSt Benedict's School
UniversityLondon School of Economics
Rugby union career
Position(s) Scrum-half
Current team Gloucester Rugby
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Blackheath (loan)
Correct as of 28 July 2020
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Team GB(Sevens)
Correct as of 29 May 2016

Early lifeEdit

Simpson was born in Australia to a New Zealand mother and English father, both rugby enthusiasts. He has one younger brother called Michael.

Simpson was educated at St Benedict's School, Ealing, which he represented at both rugby and cricket and where he was honoured as Victor Ludorum for athletics three times, at junior, middle and senior school levels. Outside school he played cricket for Ealing Cricket Club and played with Hugo Ellis and Dominic Waldouck, in the youth team at Richmond Rugby Club.

In addition to his parents Simpson cites Mike Reilly and Alun Powell, his coaches at Richmond and the Wasps Academy respectively, as influences.

Club careerEdit

Simpson joined the Wasps England Rugby Academy full-time from St Benedict's School in the summer of 2006, but spent much of the subsequent two years at Blackheath Rugby Club on loan.

In the 2008/09 season Simpson graduated to the Wasps first team, coming on as a substitute a number of times and gaining a more frequent position in the starting XV towards the latter part of the season. He scored on his debut and was awarded fourth place in the Guinness Premiership Try of the Season award.

Simpson signed a full-time senior contract with Wasps in the summer of 2009 securing his place at the club for two years. He was in the starting line-up for the opening game of the season on 5 September 2009 against Harlequins, played at Twickenham as part of the London Double Header[clarification needed]. In the first minute Simpson was head-butted by George Robson, the Harlequins' lock, in an off-the-ball incident. After treatment on the field for a cut sustained to his nose Simpson continued to play for the remaining 79 minutes, despite feeling sick and dizzy.[2]

On 17 December 2010, Wasps announced that Simpson had signed a three-year extension to his contract which will keep him at the club until the end of the 2013/14 season. [3]

Simpson underwent surgery after suffering an ankle injury in Wasps' 51-10 European Champions Cup win over Leinster on 23 January 2016.

"It is obviously disappointing for everyone that Joe has had to undergo surgery on his ankle, especially at a time when he was playing so well. I'm sure he was knocking on the door for international recognition." said Wasps boss Dai Young.

Simpson's injury, just a week before the start of the Six Nations, ends any hopes he might have had of getting an England recall this season under new coach Eddie Jones. This is Simpson's second major injury in less than a year, having been stretchered off in the 26–21 home defeat by Leicester in May 2015 with a medial collateral ligament blow, dashing his hopes of making the World Cup squad.[4]

On 6 February 2019, it was confirmed that Simpson would move to Gloucester in time for the 2019–20 season.[5]

International careerEdit

In May 2006 Simpson earned his first cap in the England Under 19 team, playing against Wales.

In the 2007/08 season he secured a place with the England sevens' side, travelling to Dubai for the IRB World Seven Series tournament, and was also named in the England Under 20s squad. At the end of the season he was nominated for the 'IRB Young Player of the Year Award' for his performance in the IRB Junior World Championship in June 2008.

In June 2009 Simpson progressed into the England Saxons squad and travelled with Wasps' teammates Dom Waldouck and Danny Cipriani to play in the Churchill Cup in Colorado. On his debut he completed a solo try and was awarded Man of the Match and appeared twice more during the tournament (in which the Saxons lost the final to Ireland A), coming on as a substitute.

Following his performance at the 2009 Churchill Cup Simpson was selected for the 2009/10 squad for the England Saxons national rugby union team.

On 11 May 2010 Simpson was one of nine uncapped players named in the England senior squad to tour Australia and New Zealand in the summer and on 30 May he made his debut for England, coming on as a substitute for David Strettle with nine minutes remaining in the match against the Barbarians. However, having sustained an injury to his left hamstring in the Barbarians game the RFU announced that Simpson would have to pull out of the tour.[6]

On 12 January 2011, it was announced that Simpson had been called up to the senior England squad (EPS) for the 6 Nations tournament.[7]

On 22 August 2011 Simpson was named in the 30-man England squad heading to New Zealand for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the opportunity arising following an injury to Danny Care. On 18 September 2011, Simpson replaced Ben Youngs in the 66th minute against Georgia in the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup 2011 to win his long anticipated first cap. He was only the second player to win his first cap for England in a Rugby World cup tournament – second to Joe Worsley who was the first player to do so at the 1999 Rugby World Cup.[8]


  1. ^ "RFU Official Site of the RFU, Governing Body of Rugby Union in England". web page. Rugby Football Union. Archived from the original on 20 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  2. ^ Joe Simpson angry at Quins headbutting incident Mirror, 6 September 2009
  3. ^ Scrum-half Joe Simpson commits future to Wasps BBC News, 17 December 2010
  4. ^ Simpson injury latest BBC Sport online, 28 January 2016
  5. ^ "Gloucester Rugby confirm signing of scrum-half Joe Simpson from Wasps". Gloucester Rugby. 6 February 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  6. ^ Injury Despair for Simpson Sky Sports News, 31 May 2010
  7. ^ Hodgson, Deacon & Simpson in England Six Nations squad BBC News, 12 January 2011
  8. ^ Simpson comes on in 2011 Rugby World Cup to win first full England cap

External linksEdit