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Richard Blaze (born 19 April 1985 in Birmingham, England) is an English former rugby union player, who played Lock for Leicester Tigers.

Richard Blaze
Birth nameRichard James Blaze
Date of birth (1985-04-19) 19 April 1985 (age 33)
Place of birthBirmingham, England
Height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Weight21 st 4 lb (124kg)
SchoolKing’s Norton Boys’ School
Birmingham & Bishop Challoner School
SpouseKelly Blaze
ChildrenOne Daughter
Occupation(s)Rugby Union Coach
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
Current team Leicester Tigers Rugby Club
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2003–2004
2004–2007
2007–2010
Moseley
Worcester Warriors
Leicester Tigers

24
14

(0)
(0)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2007–2009 England Saxons 5 (0)

Contents

YouthEdit

Richard Blaze originally a Basket Ball player for the Midlands, was a late comer to the game of rugby. Spotted by Mosley and North midlands development coaches, he rapidly progressed though county and divisional level Rugby under 18s. He was a product of the Worcester Warriors academy alongside Dylan Hartley and Callum Black.

Playing careerEdit

Blaze made his premiership debut in April 2005 for Worcester Warrior against Newcastle and due to his "enforcer" style presence was the first player from Worcester academy to gain a professional contract at Worcester.

In 2007, he signed for Leicester Tigers .[1] In the years that followed Leicester Tigers won two Premiership titles. In the 2009 Premiership final Leicester beat London Irish 10–9,[2] and Tigers retained their title the following year as they defeated Saracens 33–27.[3] After an historic placing kicking competition decided the 2009 Heineken cup semi-final, Leicester lost the 2009 Heineken Cup Final to Irish province Leinster.

International careerEdit

Blaze represented England thirty one times at age group level. Gaining four Under 18s Caps in 2003 and seven under 19s caps 2004. He gained further twenty under 21s Caps across 2005-6: Playing all 21 games over two seasons. This included age group Grand Slam [4] and successful U21 Grand Slam campaign.[5]

Blaze represented England Saxons at the 2007 Churchill Cup[6] and 2008 Churchill Cup.[7]

Blaze, known for his exceptional work at the line out was called up to Martin Johnson's England squad for the 2009 Autumn Internationals.[8]

Blaze missed much of 2009–10 season due to a foot injury. In a disappointing turn of events after having been picked for England's Elite Squad as a replacement for Simon Shaw.[9] Blaze retired on 21 October 2010 after suffering a foot injury.[10]

CoachingEdit

Blaze started his coaching career at Leicester Tigers in 2010, as an assistant forwards coach to the first team and Head Coach to seconds Team. Alongside Richard Cockerill, Matt O'Connor and Paul Burke. As a coaching team they went on to win two English Championships, in 2010 season and again in 2013. Tigers also reached Premiership finals in 2011 and 2012,narrowly missing out to Saracens and Harlequins respectively.

In 2011-12 as Head Coach of the seconds team Blaze coached the Tigers to LV Cup Title 2012 LV Cup, which they then repeated in 2017 2016/17. In 2015 Richard was appointed as First Team Forwards coach.

As an academy coach Blaze was a part of the team at leicester Tigers that won the their first championship and are currently the National Academy Champions.

In November 2017 Blaze was announced as England Under 20s Forwards Coach. He has coached the side though a Under-20 Six Nations and Under-20 Rugby World Cup. Making into the Final of the World Cup, narrowly missing out to France in the final.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Leicester sign Blaze and Erinle". BBC. 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
  2. ^ "Leicester 10-9 London Irish". BBC. 16 May 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Leicester see off Saracens and breed next generation with winning DNA". The Guardian. 31 May 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Eight-try England take historic U19 Grand Slam victory in style". RFU. 11 March 2005. Archived from the original on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  5. ^ "England U21s take Grand Slam". BBC. 17 March 2006. Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2009.
  6. ^ "England Saxons 17–13 NZ Maori". BBC. 2007-06-02. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
  7. ^ "USA 10–64 England Saxons". BBC. 2008-06-07. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
  8. ^ "Injury-hit England make changes". BBC. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2010.
  9. ^ Wildman, Rob (2009-12-04). "Richard Blaze faces another frustrating year on sideline". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 2010-06-13.
  10. ^ Sherard, Gary (20 October 2010). "Richard Blaze announces rugby retirement". Leicester Tigers. Retrieved 21 October 2010.

External linksEdit