Rob Wainwright (rugby union)

Robert Iain Wainwright (born 22 March 1965) is a former rugby union footballer who was capped 37 times for Scotland (Captain 16 times) and once for the British and Irish Lions. He played flanker.

Rob Wainwright
Birth nameRobert Iain Wainwright
Date of birth (1965-03-22) 22 March 1965 (age 56)
Place of birthPerth, Scotland
Height1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Weight100 kg (15 st 10 lb; 220 lb)
SchoolGlenalmond College
UniversityMagdalene College, Cambridge
Occupation(s)Medical Doctor
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker, No. 8
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Cambridge University R.U.F.C.
Dundee HSFP
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)

London Scottish F.C.
Caledonia Reds
Glasgow Warriors
West Hartlepool R.F.C.
Army Rugby Union


Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
North and Midlands ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
British Lions

Early lifeEdit

Wainwright was born in Perth, Scotland, the only son of five children.[1] He was educated at Glenalmond College, where his father Jim was a long-serving geography teacher and former Warden (Headmaster), and read medicine at Magdalene College, Cambridge on an Army bursary.[2] While at Cambridge he earned full blues in rugby and boxing.[3]

Rugby careerEdit

He received his first cap in 1992, as a reserve against Ireland.[4] He could play all back row positions, including flanker and number 8. Wainwright came to prominence in the 1994 Five Nations Championship with a try against England, and also scored a try against France in the final pool match of the 1995 Rugby World Cup. He became Scotland's first professional Captain following the retirement of Gavin Hastings after the Rugby World Cup in 1995, and led Scotland to a surprise second place behind England in the 1996 Five Nations Championship.[4]

Richard Bath wrote of him that his

"quiet and urbane manner belies a steely resolve that led Jim Telfer to eventually appoint the utility back-row man as skipper after Gavin Hastings' retirement in 1995... he was forced to wait until the famous back row of Jeffrey, Calder and White called it a day after the 1991 World Cup before he could force his way into the Scottish squad... An unshowy player who does so much of the unseen work, Wainwright is a useful tail of the line jumper and a consistently good tackler."[4]

When he was injured in 1996, Gregor Townsend took on the position of national captain.[5]

He returned to captain the side in January 1997.[6]

Army careerEdit

A doctor by profession, he was commissioned into the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1987 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1990, Captain on the completion of his medical training in 1991 and Major in 1996. He continued to be employed by the Army while also playing semi-professionally. As the 1997 Five Nations Championship approached, Wainright anticipated that he might be deployed to Bosnia with NATO peacekeeping troops[7] but this did not occur.[8] He retired in 1999.

Personal lifeEdit

Wainwright married Romayne in 1992. They have four children:[9] Douglas, Natasha, Alexander, Cameron.

After ending his rugby career, Wainwright had planned to return to a career in medicine. In 1999 he and his family moved to the island of Coll in the Inner Hebrides, taking ownership of a farm.[9][10][11][12]


  1. ^ "Memorial service planned for Jean Wainwright". Perthshire Advertiser. 11 February 2011.
  2. ^ Glover, Tim (1 February 1996). "Wainwright prepared for muck and bullets". The Independent. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Scrum Sevens: Hospital Pass". ESPN Scrum. 23 April 2013.
  4. ^ a b c Bath, p164
  5. ^ Bath, p162
  6. ^ Hewett, Chris (15 January 1997). "Wainwright back as Scotland captain: Rugby Union". The Independent. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  7. ^ Hewett, Chris (18 January 1997). "Rugby Union: Wainwright's dual campaign begins". The Independent. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Rugby war breaks out in Bosnia! - Troops tackle Auld Enemy". Daily Record. 24 January 1997.
  9. ^ a b Brown, Angie (2 April 2020). "How coronavirus has affected island life on Coll". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  10. ^ Ferguson, David (8 March 2014). "Interview: former Scotland captain Rob Wainwright". The Scotsman. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  11. ^ Tierney, Michael (18 January 2003). "Call of the wild - Rob Wainwright transformed his family's life by settling on Coll. Three years on, is Scotland's former rugby captain closer to utopia?". The Herald. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  12. ^ Gallagher, Brendan (2 December 2004). "Wainwright makes his touchdown in wild west". The Daily Telegraph.

Further readingEdit

  • Bath, Richard, ed. (1997). Complete Book of Rugby. Seven Oaks Ltd. ISBN 1-86200-013-1.

External linksEdit