Michael Rhodes (rugby union)
Michael Kenworthy Rhodes (born 19 December 1987 in Durban, South Africa) is a rugby union footballer who currently plays with English Premiership side Saracens. He plays as a flanker, but has been occasionally used as a lock
|Birth name||Michael Kenworthy Rhodes|
|Date of birth||19 December 1987|
|Place of birth||Durban, South Africa|
|Height||1.97 m (6 ft 5 1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||114 kg (17 st 13 lb; 251 lb)|
|Rugby union career|
Rhodes played for the Sharks for two seasons, winning the 2008 and 2010 Currie Cup with the provincial side and featuring in the game against British and Irish Lions, when they toured South Africa in 2009.
Rhodes signed up for the Golden Lions along with Sharks teammate Pat Cilliers at the end of the 2010 season. Rhodes featured occasionally for the Super Rugby side this season but spent much of the season turning out for the provincial side.  Rhodes went on to win his third Currie Cup, playing for the provincial Golden Lions.
He joined the Stormers for the 2013 Super Rugby season. In September 2013 Rhodes received a red card for a stamp on Blue Bulls captain Jono Ross. Coincidently it was the second time that weekend a player had been expelled for stamping with Nick Wood also being sent off. Citing lack of intent in the action the disciplinary pannel only suspended Rhodes for a match. Two years earlier Rhodes had faced harsher discipline after he put Siale Piutau in a headlock and the latter responded with multiple punches. Neither player was disciplined during the game but the panel suspended both for six weeks for their actions. Rhodes helped the provincial Western Province to their 2014 Currie Cup win, to win the trophy for the fourth time. After a stellar year, Rhodes was voted most promising forward at the annual Western Province Awards in 2014.
Rhodes played regularly for Stormers during the 2015 season, helping them finish top of the South African Conference. Rhodes started at 6 as Stormers lost to Brumbies in the qualifiers for the 2015 Super Rugby finals.
Michael Rhodes joined Saracens from Stormers for the 2015–16. Rhodes quickly became established as Saracens' first choice 6 and a fan favourite and went on to help Saracens win the double of the Aviva Premiership and the European Champions Cup for the first time in Saracens' history. Rhodes featured in 27 games in the 2015–2016 season including Champions Cup and Premiership finals and scored tries against Sale Sharks and in the Champions Cup Semi-final against Wasps. Rhodes was rewarded with his impressive debut season by being offered a contract extension to keep him at the club until 2019.
Rhodes was once again an integral part of the Saracens side that went on to win the 2016–17 European Rugby Champions Cup, and started in the final. Rhodes also started in the 2016–17 Premiership semi-final loss to Exeter Chiefs. Rhodes came off in the semi-final for what would be a long-term shoulder injury. Rhodes was awarded for his hard work and ruthlessness this season by being voted as the Saracens' Players' Player of the Year and being shortlisted for the Premiership Player of the Season.
Rhodes recovered from his shoulder injury in time to start the 2017–18 Premiership Rugby season. Rhodes was however plagued with injuries during this season, with recurring issues with his shoulder following surgery. He came off the bench in both the semi-final and final of the Premiership for Nick Isiekwe. His Saracens side went on to beat Exeter Chiefs for Rhodes to win his second Premiership trophy.
During the 2018–19 Premiership season Rhodes reclaimed his place in the number 6 shirt and was as industrious as ever. On 13 March 2019, Rhodes received a three game ban for dangerous play on Miles Reid during Saracens' 18-9 loss to Bath Rugby. Rhodes returned to the side and was key to the Saracens path to the 2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup final, including scoring a try in the semi-final win over Munster Rugby. Rhodes was ruled out of the final due to back spasms, but Saracens still went on to win their third Champions Cup in four years. Rhodes returned to the side on the bench for Premiership semi-final at home to Gloucester and the final against Exeter Chiefs, which Saracens went on to win 37-34.
After qualifying to play for England Rugby through 3 years of residency, Rhodes was called up to Eddie Jones 44-man squad ahead of the 2018 end-of-year rugby union internationals. Rhodes was retained in the training squad for several weeks but was not selected to make an appearance, with Mark Wilson and Brad Shields preferred to him at 6.
Super Rugby statisticsEdit
- As of 21 June 2015
- Aviva Premiership (3): 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19
- European Champions Cup (3): 2015–16, 2016–17, 2018-19
- Western Province Most Promising Forward: 2014
- Saracens Players' Player of the Year: 2016-17
- Shortlist for Premiership Player of the Year: 2016-17
- "Lions to confirm mass exodus". Sport24. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
- "Michael Rhodes straight red card and suspension for stamp in face". Rugby Dump. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
- "Siale Piutau lets fly on Michael Rhodes after dangerous headlock". Rugby Dump. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
- "Saracens – 10 things to know about Michael Rhodes". saracens.com. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- "Brumbies end DHL Stormers' run". The Stormers. 20 June 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- "Saracens - Rhodes commits to Saracens". www.saracens.com. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- "Saracens - Rhodes reflects on his journey to recovery". www.saracens.com. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- "Michael Rhodes: Saracens flanker given three-week ban after dangerous play charge". 13 March 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- "Saracens 32-16 Munster: Premiership side book Champions Cup final place". Sky Sports. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
- "Leicester 26, Barbarians 59: Tigers downed in 13-try spectacular in revival of traditional fixture". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
- "Saracens - Michael Rhodes awarded players' player of the year at end of season awards". www.saracens.com. Retrieved 29 May 2019.