|CLUB Worcester Warriors |
POSITION Back row>br>
Pat Sanderson became England’s fifth captain on the tour of Australia last summer since the retirement of Martin Johnson in 2004. He has led by example at his club, Worcester Warriors, and was in charge of the triumphant England Churchill Cup squad in Canada in 2005.
A prolific England Sevens player, he made his debut in Hong Kong ten years ago. In 2002, he was a member of England’s Commonwealth Games Sevens squad in Manchester and three years ago won the Hong Kong Sevens alongside Peter Richards. He was educated at Kirkham Grammar School and signed for the Warriors from NEC Harlequins in 2004, having played for Sale Sharks alongside his brother Alex until their career paths diverged. Also represented England Schools 16 and 18-Groups and Under-21s and won the first three of his 15 full caps on the 1998 Southern Hemisphere tour. Played in all three Tests in the autumn of 2005 before a back injury ruled him out of the subsequent RBS 6 Nations Championship. He was also chosen to captain England against the Barbarians in May 2006.
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Pat was the chairman of the Professional Rugby Players’ Association for two years and was well placed to understand problems confronting players, especially in terms of injury. A fractured shoulder, two damaged knees and a prolapsed disc have all kept him out of the game at different stages and he was absent at the beginning of last year through a back spasm. He recovered from a broken bone in a hand sustained against Bath in March to make his 150th Guinness Premiership appearance, for Warriors against London Irish the following month.
Away from rugby, he runs a chocolate fountain company with his wife Nicky and new baby Max arrived last year.