Clarke in 2009
|Full name||Philip Clarke|
|Born||16 May 1971|
Blackrod, Lancashire, England
|Position||Second-row, Loose forward|
Philip Clarke (born 16 May 1971) is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1980s and 1990s. A Great Britain and England international representative back-rower or stand-off, he played his club rugby league in England for Wigan (with whom he won five consecutive Challenge Cup Finals from 1991 to 1995), and in Australia for the Sydney City Roosters.
Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.
The Great Britain and Ireland national rugby league team represents Great Britain and Ireland in rugby league. Administered by the Rugby Football League (RFL), the team is nicknamed The Lions.
The England national rugby league team represents England in international rugby league.
Since his retirement he has continued to work in the sport as a manager, executive and commentator.
Clarke was born on 16 May 1971 in Blackrod, Lancashire, England.
Blackrod is a settlement and civil parish of the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, in Greater Manchester, England. It is 3.9 miles (6.3 km) north-northeast of Wigan and 6.6 miles (10.6 km) west of Bolton. According to the United Kingdom Census 2001, Blackrod had a population of 5,300, but reduced to 5,001 at the United Kingdom Census 2011.
Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston. The county has a population of 1,449,300 and an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 km2). People from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians.
He is the son of Colin Clarke, the Wigan and England hooker of the 1960s and 1970s, and Wigan coach of the 1980s.
Colin Clarke is an English former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1960s and 1970s, and coach of 1980s. He played at representative level for Great Britain, and at club level for Wigan, Salford and Leigh, as a hooker, i.e. number 9, during the era of contested scrums, and coached at club level for Wigan.
Hooker is one of the positions in a rugby league football team. Usually wearing jersey number 9, the hooker is one of the team's forwards. During scrums the hooker plays in the front row, and the position's name comes from their role of 'hooking' or 'raking' the ball back with the foot. For this reason the hooker is sometimes referred to as the rake.
Clarke was part of a Wigan side that dominated English rugby league in the late 1980s and 1990s, winning the Championship in six consecutive seasons and the Challenge Cup in seven consecutive seasons during Clarke's time at the club. Clarke played in five Challenge Cup final victories, from 1991 to 1995.
He played in three World Club Challenges for Wigan - the 1991 victory against the visiting Penrith Panthers, the 1992 home loss to the visiting Brisbane Broncos and the 1994 victory over the Broncos in Brisbane.
The 1991 World Club Challenge was contested by 1990–91 RFL Championship winners, Wigan and 1991 NSWRL season premiers, the Penrith Panthers. The match was played on a dry Wednesday the 2 October 1991 at Anfield, Liverpool. A crowd of 20,152 was in attendance for the game which was refereed by Frenchman Alain Sablayrolles.
Penrith Panthers are an Australian professional rugby league football team based in the western Sydney suburb of Penrith. The team is based 55 km west of the centre of Sydney and at the foot of the Blue Mountains.
The 1992 World Club Challenge match was contested by the 1991–92 Rugby Football League season champions Wigan and the 1992 NSWRL season's premiers, the Brisbane Broncos. The match took place on Friday night, 30 October in England, during the 1992–93 Rugby Football League season. It was also played less than a week after the 1992 Rugby League World Cup Final. A crowd of 17,764 turned out at Central Park, Wigan for the match which was refereed by New Zealand's Dennis Hale, the same referee as for the World Cup final one week earlier.
Clarke was selected to go on the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand.He played in the back-row in Great Britain's win over Australia in Melbourne. He represented England at the 1995 Rugby League World Cup. He became the first player to win England caps whilst at the Sydney City Roosters. He played in the 1995 World Cup Final at second-row but Australia won the match and retained the Cup.
The 1995 Rugby League World Cup was held during October in the United Kingdom. It was the eleventh staging of the Rugby League World Cup and was marketed as the Halifax Centenary World Cup, reflecting the tournament's sponsorship and the fact that 1995 marked the centenary of the sport. Envisaged as a celebration of rugby league football, the size of the competition was doubled, with four additional teams invited and Great Britain split into England and Wales
The Sydney Roosters is an Australian professional rugby league football club based in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. The club competes in the National Rugby League (NRL) competition and is one of the oldest and most successful clubs in Australian rugby league history, having won fourteen New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and National Rugby League titles, and several other competitions. Only the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Dragons have won more premierships. The club holds the record for having the most wins and the second greatest margin of victory in a match in Australian rugby league history, and has won more minor premierships than any other club. The Roosters is one of only two clubs to finish runners-up in its inaugural season. The Eastern Suburbs DRLFC is the only club to have played in each and every season at the elite level, and since the 1970s has often been dubbed the "glamour club" of the league. Coached by Trent Robinson along with captains Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend, the Roosters play their home games at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The Australian national rugby league team have represented Australia in senior men's rugby league football competition since the establishment of the 'Northern Union game' in Australia in 1908. Administered by the Australian Rugby League, the Kangaroos are ranked first in the RLIF World Rankings. The team is the most successful in Rugby League World Cup history, having contested all 15 and winning 11 of them, failing to reach the final only once, in the inaugural tournament in 1954. Only four nations have beaten Australia in test matches, and Australia have an overall win percentage of 67%.
He moved to Sydney City Roosters in 1995 but his playing career was cut short when he suffered a broken neck in his only season there. Although he made a full recovery, he was warned by doctors never to play rugby league again.
Clarke was Wigan's chief executive from 1997 to 1998, when they won the Grand Final of Super League III.
He became a Sky Sports commentator in 1999 alongside Bill Arthur on Academy matches and moved on to work with Eddie Hemmings and Mike "Stevo" Stephenson on Super League broadcasts.
In March 2006 he left the position of Great Britain team manager after five years, having become part of the Great Britain set-up in 2001.He said his reasons for leaving were the "lack of leadership and direction" for the Great Britain team, and the lack of improvement in competitiveness against international opponents, adding that "despite what's been said by the RFL and certain parts of the media, we're no closer now than we were 15 years ago."
He is a director of The Sports Office, a sports software company.
In February 2019 Phil became an Honorary Member of the St Helens Rugby League Referees Society.
Martin Nwokocha Offiah MBE is an English former professional rugby league and rugby union footballer of the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Offiah was inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2013. He scored 501 tries during his rugby league career, making him the third-highest try scorer and top try-scoring English player of all time, and now features in a statue of great rugby league players outside Wembley Stadium.
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