Full name William David Charles Carling
Born December 12, 1965, Bradford-on-Avon
Current age 49 years 306 days
Major teams British and Irish Lions, Harlequins, England, England XV
Height 5 ft 11 in
Weight 198 lb
|British and Irish Lions||1993-1993||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|IRB Rugby World Cup||1991-1995||11||11||0||18||4||0||0||0||7||4||0||63.63|
|Test debut||France v England at Parc des Princes, Jan 16, 1988 match details|
|Last Test||Wales v England at Cardiff, Mar 15, 1997 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Imagine being given the captaincy of your country aged only 22, in the process becoming the youngest man ever to hold the position. Well, this is what happened to Will Carling, who was entrusted by the then England manager Geoff Cooke to lead his country into a new era of success. Carling might not have been everybody's cup of tea but in the early 1990s the side he led was one of the most successful in English rugby history.
They achieved the rare feat of back-to-back Grand Slams in 1991 and 1992 and reached the 1991 World Cup final at Twickenham, beating France in Paris and Scotland in Edinburgh en route to the clash against Australia. Carling also led England to a third Grand Slam in 1995. Carling's team were often described as "boring" for their approach in 1991. But this is a narrow view of a team that cut opposition to shreds in the early years of the decade.
Carling attended Sedburgh School on an army scholarship and joined up after graduating from Durham University. However he never rose above the rank of Second Lieutenant and his commission was ended in 1988, at which point he concentrated on his rugby, despite it still being an amateur sport. Like many of his England team-mates, Carling was a member of the Harlequins club. But while he tasted cup success regularly, league consistency evaded the team.
On the field, Carling was a fleet-footed centre who formed a memorable partnership with Jeremy Guscott. Off the field, he will perhaps be most remembered for the comments that led to his sacking as England captain, when he described the RFU committee as "57 old farts". However after a public outcry he was reinstated and went to the 1995 World Cup in South Africa. Scrum staff