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Ralph Knibbs is a former elite rugby union player for Bristol.

Ralph Andrew Knibbs
Personal information
Born (1964-08-03) 3 August 1964 (age 55)[1]
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight182 lb (83 kg; 13 st 0 lb)
SportRugby Union
TeamEngland Rugby U23's/Bristol

He made his debut as a seventeen-year-old against Pontypridd RFC in 1982, scoring with his first touch of the ball.[2] Knibbs had a repertoire of running angles and scored many individual tries in his Bristol career which lasted until 1996. He played in the 1983 cup final as an eighteen-year-old, and represented Gloucestershire in all their games in the 1982/83 championship-winning campaign. He was also an accomplished basketball player, athlete and American football player prior to his rugby career.[citation needed] He played for the South West Division, England under-23s, and the England Sevens.

He turned down the chance to go on the 1984 England rugby union tour of South Africa, because of his opposition to apartheid.[2][3] He also declared himself unavailable for 1988 England rugby union tour of Australia and Fiji, due to work commitments, making him one of the only players ever to turn down England national rugby union team twice. Despite this, Knibbs made 436 appearances for Bristol, scoring 123 tries, and was vice-captain during the centenary season. he later captained Clifton Rugby Football Club where he ended his career.[citation needed]

On 18 February 2007 Knibbs was also named in The Sunday Times top 10 centres of time[verification needed] along with names such as Brian O'Driscoll and Simon Halliday by Bath rival Jeremy Guscott who described Knibbs as being "silky and absolutely superb" and whom admitted it was a "crying shame he never won an England cap".

2016 attack by transgender athleteEdit

On 22 March 2016 Knibbs was a victim of attempted murder by transgender fell runner Lauren Jeska. Knibbs was stabbed several times in the head and neck by Jeska in a ""premeditated and savage attack" resulting in life threatening injuries. The attack occurred in the context of a planned review of Jeska's status as a female athlete because of the fact she had been born a man.[4] Jeska admitted attempted murder and was jailed for 18 years.[5]


  1. ^ "Ralph Andrew Knibbs". ESPN scrum.
  2. ^ a b "Where are they now? Bristol Rugby's glorious 1983 John Player Cup final winning side", 11 July 2015, The Bristol Post
  3. ^ ""Anti-Apartheid Movement Annual Report on Activities and Developments"], 1984, via Aluka]" (PDF).
  4. ^ Willgress, Lydia (22 September 2016). "Fell-runner Lauren Jeska tried to kill British athletics official because she feared the body would revoke her titles over transgender status" – via
  5. ^