World Ranking: 3 Prediction: 3rd


Graham Rowntree

Age: 33

Position: Prop

Club: Leicester

Debut: 18/03/95 v Scotland

Caps: 48

Tries: 0

What is your first memory of the Five Nations as a boy? Watching England on the telly in the early eighties, particularly my hero Phil Blakeway (Prop, Gloucester and England).

What is your abiding memory of your Five Nations debut? Coming on as a blood-replacement for Jason Leonard in March 1995 for 10 minutes at Twickenham against Scotland and not wanting to come off, and deliberately turning my back to the sideline, where Jason was trying to get back on.

What has been your best moment in the competition? Winning the Grand Slam in Dublin in 2003.

And the worst? Losing against France in 2002, and at Twickenham in 1997.

And the funniest? In 2003 at Lansdowne Road one small Irish official attempted to move us from one half of the pitch to the other just before the national anthems. This was down to the Irish thinking it was good luck to be at that particular end. Martin Johnson wouldn't have any of this, and we didn't budge.

What was the team's best performance last year? Against South Africa in November when we won 32-16.

What are England's prospects for the tournament this year?

We'll know more after the first two games. We've got the right players and we're gagging for it.

If you don't win it, who will? France.

Which young player will catch the eye this year? Harry Ellis (scrum-half, England).

Who is the hardest hitter in the world right now? Jerry Collins (flanker, New Zealand).

And the best player? Julian White (prop, England).

Will the Grand Slam be completed this season? Yes.

What is the worst punishment handed out to you by a tour court? On tour in South Africa in 1994, Judge Brian Moore made me drink 10 bottles of lager, one after the other.


What is your favourite...

Book? On the Loose by Josh Kronfeld, his 2000 biography.

Film? Goodfellas.

Band? Radiohead (below), Public Enemy.

TV programme? Phoenix Nights, or anything involving Peter Kay.


1 A team in transition, or a team on the skids? Johnson, Dallaglio, Back, Bracken, Leonard. The first four of that great quintet are still producing performances of considerable grandeur at club level and the sight of England's World Cup-winning senior citizenry controlling games with their customary authority underlines the comparative weakness of the current national team. Where are the decision-makers, the players capable of bending the shape of a game to their will? Thompson, Borthwick and Lewsey are the new leaders of men and they must make their voices heard.

2Can Andy Robinson field a representative side? Injuries are the bane of a coach's life, and England have enough of them to fill a field hospital. In midfield alone, the losses of Wilkinson, Greenwood, Tindall and Abbott add up to a crisis. Robinson is not one of life's natural gamblers, but he will have to take a punt or two this time.


GRAND SLAMS 1913, 1914, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1957, 1980, 1991, 1992, 1995, 2003.

TRIPLE CROWNS 1883, 1884, 1892, 1913, 1914, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1934, 1937, 1954, 1957, 1960, 1980, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2003.

OUTRIGHT WINNERS 1883, 1884, 1890, 1892, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1928, 1930, 1934, 1937, 1953. 1957, 1958, 1963, 1980, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003.

WOODEN SPOONS 1901, 1903, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1909, 1976.


The Who? Exactly. England are unrecognisable from the side who won the World Cup. Their fortunes have come crashing down around their ears like Keith Moon's drumkit, their form has imploded like one of Pete Townshend's amplifiers. After last season's Six Nations failure, Sir Clive Woodward could be heard humming "Won't Get Fooled Again". The moment he walked out, his choice of song made sense.

Life and Style
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
TVSPOILER ALERT: It's all coming together as series returns to form
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine