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William David Charles Carling, OBE (born 12 December 1965) is a former Rugby union player for Harlequins, and a former captain of England from 1988 to 1996, winning 72 caps.

He attended the Sedbergh School in Winder House, on an army scholarship and later graduated with a degree in Psychology from Hatfield Collegemarker, Durhammarker. After university Carling joined the army and was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Wales. He never rose above the rank of Second Lieutenant and his commission was terminated in 1988.

He played for Harlequins as a centre but was more committed to his England side. This commitment led Carling to resign his commission and concentrate on Rugby Union as a career despite the sport still being considered amateur.

He was the youngest ever England captain at age 22 and was at the time the most successful ever, seeing them to back-to-back Five Nations grand slam victories (1991, 1992), and the final of the 1991 Rugby World Cup. He also led them to a 1995 Grand Slam, a feat that was not to be repeated by another England team until 2003.

Carling's England team were often criticised as boring because they did not score many tries and often relied upon their forwards rather than take risks by giving the ball to the backs. Perhaps it was sensitivity about this that caused a famous reversal of tactics in the 1991 Rugby World Cup Final, when England suddenly played an expansive game that possibly contributed to their defeat by Australia. Carling offered the explanation that it was due to a previous defeat by Australia where England had been beaten up front.

Despite this, under Carling England started to challenge and beat the established rugby union powers such as New Zealand and Australia, and their success helped to make rugby union a more popular sport in England.

Carling famously described the Rugby Football Union Committee as "57 old farts" which saw him sacked. The incident had been provoked by administrator Dudley Wood's comments about England players' desire to cheat by breaking the amateur ethics. He was however quickly reinstated due to public pressure and following a public apology was able to go to the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Following his resignation from the England captaincy he continued to be selected as an outside centre ahead of Jeremy Guscott.

Carling was formerly married to the television presenter Julia Carling. Prior to their divorce, he was romantically linked by some members of the press with Diana, Princess of Wales, the then wife of Prince Charles. Carling has denied any romantic involvement.

After his rugby career ended he became a TV pundit on rugby union. He has also worked as a motivational speaker and in 2001 founded Will Carling Management Ltd, a corporate hospitality company which is also involved in the rugby social networking website "Rucku".

Carling is also an enthusiastic user of microblogging service Twitter and has over 17,500 followers (as of 30 June 2009).

Wallaby George Gregan equalled his 59 matches as captain in the 2007 Rugby World Cup - Pool B against Fiji and in the 2009 Tri Nations Series Springbok John Smit equalled and beaten his record in tests between New Zealand in Bloemfonteinmarker and Durbanmarker respectively.

Matches as Captain

Matches
Date
Opposition
Venue
Score
Status
Notes
1
1988-11-05 Australia Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
28–19
Test Match
2
1989-02-04 Scotland Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
12–12
1989 Five Nations
3
1989-02-18 Ireland Lansdowne Roadmarker, Dublinmarker
16–3
4
1989-03-04 France Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
11–0
1 Try
5
1989-03-18 Wales Cardiff Arms Parkmarker, Cardiffmarker
9–12
6
1989-11-04 Fiji Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
58–23
Test Match
7
1990-01-20 Ireland Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
23–0
1990 Five Nations
8
1990-02-03 France Parc des Princesmarker, Parismarker
26–7
1 Try
9
1990-02-17 Wales Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
34–6
1 Try
10
1990-03-17 Scotland Murrayfieldmarker, Edinburghmarker
7–13
11
1990-07-28 Argentina Vélez Sársfieldmarker, Buenos Airesmarker
25–12
Argentina Series
12
1990-08-04 Argentina Vélez Sársfieldmarker, Buenos Airesmarker
13–15
13
1990-11-03 Argentina Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
51–0
Test Match
14
1991-01-19 Wales Cardiff Arms Parkmarker, Cardiffmarker
25–6
1991 Five Nations
15
1991-02-16 Scotland Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
21–12
16
1991-03-02 Ireland Lansdowne Roadmarker, Dublinmarker
16–7
17
1991-03-16 France Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
21–19
18
1991-07-20 Fiji National Stadiummarker, Suvamarker
28–12
Test Match
19
1991-07-27 Australia Sydney Football Stadiummarker, Sydneymarker
8–28
Test Match
20
1991-10-03 New Zealand Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
12–16
1991 Rugby World Cup
21
1991-10-08 Italy Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
36–6
22
1991-10-11 United States Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
37–9
1 Try
23
1991-10-19 France Parc des Princesmarker, Parismarker
19–10
1 Try
24
1991-10-26 Scotland Murrayfieldmarker, Edinburghmarker
9–6
25
1991-11-02 Australia Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
6–12
1991 Rugby World Cup Final
26
1992-01-18 Scotland Murrayfieldmarker, Edinburghmarker
25–7
1992 Five Nations
27
1992-02-01 Ireland Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
38–9
28
1992-02-15 France Parc des Princesmarker, Parismarker
31–13
29
1992-03-07 Wales Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
24–0
1 Try
30
1992-10-17 Canada Wembley Stadiummarker, Londonmarker
26–13
Test Match
31
1992-11-14 South Africa Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
33–16
Test Match 1 Try
32
1993-01-16 France Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
16–15
1993 Five Nations
33
1993-02-09 Wales Cardiff Arms Parkmarker, Cardiffmarker
9–10
34
1993-03-06 Scotland Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
26–12
35
1993-03-20 Ireland Lansdowne Roadmarker, Dublinmarker
3–17
36
1993-11-27 New Zealand Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
15–9
Test Match
37
1994-02-05 Scotland Murrayfieldmarker, Edinburghmarker
15–14
1994 Five Nations
38
1994-02-19 Ireland Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
12–13
39
1994-03-05 France Parc des Princesmarker, Parismarker
18–14
40
1994-03-19 Wales Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
15–8
41
1994-06-04 South Africa Loftus Versfeldmarker, Pretoriamarker
32–15
South Africa Series
42
1994-06-11 South Africa Newlandsmarker, Cape Townmarker
9–27
43
1994-11-12 Romania Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
54–3
Test Match 1 Try
44
1994-12-10 Canada Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
60–9
Test Match
45
1995-01-21 Ireland Lansdowne Roadmarker, Dublinmarker
20–8
1995 Five Nations 1 Try
46
1995-02-04 France Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
31–10
47
1995-02-18 Wales Cardiff Arms Parkmarker, Cardiffmarker
23–9
48
1995-03-18 Scotland Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
24–12
49
1995-05-27 Argentina Kings Park Stadiummarker, Durbanmarker
24–18
1995 Rugby World Cup
50
1995-06-04 Western Samoa Kings Park Stadiummarker, Durbanmarker
44–22
51
1995-06-11 Australia Newlandsmarker, Cape Townmarker
25–22
52
1995-06-18 New Zealand Newlandsmarker, Cape Townmarker
29–45
2 Tries
53
1995-06-22 France Loftus Versfeldmarker, Pretoriamarker
9–19
54
1995-11-18 South Africa Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
14–24
Test Match
55
1995-12-16 Western Samoa Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
27–9
Test Match
56
1996-01-20 France Parc des Princesmarker, Parismarker
12–15
1996 Five Nations
57
1996-02-03 Wales Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
21–15
58
1996-03-02 Scotland Murrayfieldmarker, Edinburghmarker
18–9
59
1996-03-16 Ireland Twickenhammarker, Londonmarker
28–15


Honours as Captain

Rugby World Cup

Five Nations Championship

Calcutta Cup
  • Winners: 1989, 1991–96
  • Runners-up: 1990


Millennium Trophy
  • Winners: 1989–92, 1995–96
  • Runners-up: 1993–94


References



External links




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