Neil Francis (rugby union)

Last updated
Neil Francis
Birth nameNeil Patrick Francis
Date of birth (1964-03-17) 17 March 1964 (age 57)
Place of birth Dublin, Ireland
Height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight262 lb (119 kg) [1]
Rugby union career
Position(s) lock forward
Provincial / State sides
YearsTeamApps(Points)
Leinster ()
National team(s)
YearsTeamApps(Points)
1987-1996 Ireland 36 (20)

Neil Francis is a retired Irish rugby union lock forward and number eight. He played for Blackrock College, London Irish, Old Belvedere, Leinster and won 36 caps between 1987 and 1996 for Ireland. [2]

Controversy

On 16 February 2014, Francis sparked controversy when he claimed that “gay people do not have any interest in sport” and that “only a tiny percentage are actively involved in professional sports of any kind".

The player-turned-pundit was speaking on Newstalk's Off the Ball and when asked by presenter Joe Molloy if he believed the percentage of gay people involved in sport was lower than the 10 per cent which is the estimate of the general population who are gay, he said he suspected “that nowhere near 10 per cent. I would say in the smaller margin of 1 per cent”. [3]

In November 2019, he suggested South Africa's win in the Rugby World Cup was 'tainted by steroids'. [4]

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References

  1. "Neil Francis - Rugby Union - Players and Officials - ESPN Scrum". ESPN scrum.
  2. "Neil Francis - Rugby Union - Players and Officials - ESPN Scrum". ESPN scrum.
  3. "Gay people 'not interested in sport' claims former rugby player". The Irish Times. 16 February 2014.
  4. "Rugby World Cup: South Africa's win 'tainted by steroids', Irish writer Neil Francis claims". NZ Herald. 2019-11-11. ISSN   1170-0777 . Retrieved 2020-02-01.