Simon Easterby

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Simon Easterby
Ireland vs Georgia, Rugby World Cup 2007 What's the Plan Boss.jpg
Easterby (scrum cap, back) playing for Ireland
Birth nameSimon Easterby
Date of birth (1975-07-21) 21 July 1975 (age 46)
Place of birth Harrogate, Yorkshire, England
Height1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Weight100 kg (15 st 10 lb)
School Ampleforth College
Notable relative(s) Guy Easterby (brother)
Elgan Rees (father-in-law)
SpouseSarra Elgan Rees
ChildrenSoffia and Ffredi
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker
Senior career
Leeds Tykes
Llanelli RFC
Provincial / State sides
2003–2010 Scarlets 109 (30)
Correct as of 18:56, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
National team(s)
British & Irish Lions
Correct as of 20:46, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Teams coached
Ireland (Forwards Coach)
Correct as of 17 July 2014

Simon Easterby (born 21 July 1975 in Harrogate, North Yorkshire) is an Irish former rugby union player. He is currently the defence coach for the Irish national team. [1]


Early life

Easterby's father is English and his mother Irish. He is the younger brother of Guy Easterby, also an Ireland international. He was educated at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire and was a member of St Hughs house. [2]

Club career

Easterby captained the Scarlets for five consecutive seasons and played more than 50 European games, 201 games (19 tries) for Llanelli and the Scarlets. He had been part of the West Wales region since signing from Leeds Tykes in 1999. In August 2010, Easterby was forced to retire through a knee injury at the age of 35.

International career


Easterby made his first international appearance in a Six Nations victory over Scotland at Lansdowne Road in 2000 and then became a regular in the side, being ever-present for the remainder of that Six Nations competition. Easterby then played in all three of the games during the summer tour but he missed all of the following season due to injury and did not return until the game against Scotland in September 2001. After Ireland's defeat, he lost his place but he did win a cap as a replacement against Samoa in November 2001. In 2002 he played a part in the first ten of Ireland's games – eight as a starter – but after that, he lost his place and he did not return until playing in two Tests during the summer tour of 2003 against Tonga and Samoa.

He was virtually ever-present for Ireland since then; he has received in total 65 caps and scored 40 points. Described as the "elder statesman among Ireland's back-row options" in 2007, one newspaper suggested that "[2007] could well be Easterby's last Six Nations campaign" [3] As it turned out, Easterby played in one more Six Nations Championship in 2008, after which he retired from international rugby to concentrate on his club career. [4]

British & Irish Lions

Easterby received a call-up to the 2005 Lions tour to New Zealand, after Lawrence Dallaglio fractured his ankle in the first game of the tour. He forced his way into the Test team and covered himself in glory, including scoring a try in the second Test in Wellington. He took over the leadership duties for the 2005 Autumn series in the absence of injured duo Brian O'Driscoll and Paul O'Connell. In total he has two British & Irish Lions caps.


On retiring, Easterby was officially confirmed as the Scarlets new defence coach and signed a two-year contract with the region and in June 2012, Easterby was confirmed as the new head coach for the Scarlets, following the departure of Nigel Davies to Gloucester.

His long association with the Scarlets came to an end in July 2014 when he was confirmed as Irelands new forwards coach, replacing the outgoing John Plumtree. [5]

Personal life

Easterby is married to Sarra Elgan Rees, the daughter of ex-rugby union player Elgan Rees who played for Neath RFC, Wales and the British & Irish Lions. Former Scarlets and Wales full back Matt Cardey was best man at the wedding. Sarra Elgan Easterby is a TV presenter and a fluent Welsh speaker. Their daughter, Soffia, was born in 2007, and their son, Ffredi, was born in 2009. [6]

In August 2014, Easterby was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in September's referendum on that issue. [7]

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  1. Management. IRFU. Retrieved 15 February 2021
  2. Tozer, Malcolm, ed. (2012). Physical Education and Sport in Independent Schools. John Catt Educational. p. 293. ISBN   9781908095442.
  3. Six Nations 2007 – Simon Easterby Archived 11 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Irish Times
  4. "Easterby quits international game". BBC Sport. 17 March 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2008.
  5. Easterby Appointed As Ireland Forwards Coach IRFU, 17 July 2014; Retrieved 17 July 2014 Archived 16 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Former skipper moves into coaching role". Scarlets. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 14 July 2009.[ dead link ]
  7. "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". The Guardian. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.