|CLUB Saracens |
Kevin Yates won his two full caps so far a decade ago on the tour of Argentina after being a late starter in the game. Educated at John Bentley School, Calne, Wiltshire, he initially played for Chippenham before breaking into the Bath senior side at 22. Toured Australia and Fiji with England A in 1995, having played for England Under-21s. Won his two caps on the 1997 tour to Argentina but later became embroiled in an earbiting controversy when London Scottish flanker Simon Fenn required 25 stitches after his ear lobe was bitten in a cup tie at Bath in January 1998.
Despite protesting his innocence he was banned for six months and returned to Bath before going to New Zealand and playing for Wellington Hurricanes in Super 12 and the National Provincial Championship. He returned to England because he wanted to resume the battle for another England cap in a tough Premiership. He extended his Saracens’ contract at the end of 2005-06 and has been one of the cornerstones of their scrum for the past two seasons. He had a spell with Sale Sharks, as well as Bath, and made more than 100 appearances for the two clubs before joining Saracens from the Stockport-based Sharks. He has also played for the Barbarians.
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Kevin was born at the evocatively named Medicine Hat because his father was in the Army and the family moved around. He first showed an interest in the game while in Hong Kong but played at competitive level only in his teens when joining Bath with some friends and ending up in the colts’side. He went on to share in Bath’s 36-16 triumph over London Wasps in the 1995 Pilkington Cup final at Twickenham. Two seasons ago, he won a different honour – lifting the Saracens’ try of the season trophy, which he admitted was the first of its kind that he had been awarded. He said he was glad to collect it on behalf of the prop forwards’ union all around the world.