Topsy Ojo

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Topsy Ojo
Topsy Ojo.jpg
Birth nameTemitope Oluwadamilola Ojo
Date of birth (1985-07-28) 28 July 1985 (age 34)
Place of birth Tottenham, London, England
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
School Dartford Grammar School
University Birkbeck College
Rugby union career
Position(s) Wing
Full-back
Current team London Irish
Youth career
2003–2005 London Irish
Senior career
YearsTeamApps(Points)
2005–2019 London Irish 300 (400)
Correct as of 18 March 2017
National team(s)
YearsTeamApps(Points)
2007
2008
England Saxons
England
2
2
(5)
(10)
Correct as of 21 June 2008

Temitope "Topsy" Ojo (born 28 July 1985) is an English rugby union player for London Irish , and has represented England at International level. He is London Irish's all-time leading try scorer, with 73 tries in all competitions.

Contents

Career

London Irish

Ojo was born in Tottenham, London. His father, Akin Ojo, a thoracic surgeon, and his mother Bola Ojo (née Ibidapo-Obe) are from south-west Nigeria, [1] where Temitope is a common Yoruba name. Topsy Ojo started to play rugby union at Dartford Grammar School at the age of eleven, as well as going on to captain the 1st XV. He also represented Kent and London & South-East Schools at both U16 and U18. After he starting playing some under-19 trial matches and being recommended for the London Irish Academy he went on to join the Sunbury based Academy in July 2003.

He made his English club debut in September 2005 in a match against London Wasps. [2] By April 2006 he had joined the full London Irish squad, and now plays wing.

Ojo has been tipped to replace Tom Varndell as "the hottest young finisher" by the BBC. [3] He finished the 2005-06 Guinness Premiership season with 14 games in the starting line-up with 7 tries. That season, Ojo started in the final of the European Challenge Cup, losing to Gloucester Rugby. [4] Despite only being at the club a few years, he has quickly become a firm favourite with the crowd.[ citation needed ]

Ojo scored a try in London Irish's first premiership game of the 2006–07 season, in which they defeated promoted Harlequins during the London Double Header at Twickenham. [5]

Ojo scored a try against Stade Toulousain in the 2008 Heineken Cup Semi-final. [6]

2013/14 was Topsy Ojo's testimonial season for London Irish. [7]

In 2016/17, Ojo's first season outside the Aviva Premiership, he scored a combined total of five tries in both the RFU Championship and British and Irish Cup as Irish finished top of the league. Ojo also made punditry appearances on Sky Sports during the campaign, commenting on both legs of the RFU Championship semi-final. On 4 April 2017 Topsy agreed a new two-year deal with London Irish. [8] The 2016/17 season also saw Ojo pass 400 points for London Irish, extending his lead as the Exiles' record try-scorer.

International career

Ojo had been a member of the England Intermediate National Academy at Bath, where he was coached by Brian Ashton and his colleagues, and went on to represent England at the under-19 2003 Six Nations, as well as the FIRA World Cup Championships. He also went on to represent England at the 2006 IRB U21 World Championship. [9]

Ojo made his debut for the England Saxons against the USA in the 2007 Churchill Cup, where he scored the Saxons' first try. [10] On 29 May 2007, Ojo was called up to the full England squad for the first time. [11]

Ojo made another appearance for the England Saxons, against Italy A in Ragusa, Sicily on 9 February 2008. [12]

On 13 May 2008, Ojo was named in Martin Johnson's first England squad selection, set to tour New Zealand that summer. [13] He won his first cap on 14 June.

Ojo showed both pace and vision in his first game scoring twice in a game where New Zealand were dominant. His first try was an interception of a Dan Carter pass, before running nearly the length of the pitch (80m) to outpace the New Zealand full back Mils Muliaina who had to come from the other side of the field. His second try involved picking the ball up after a kick and running it under the posts. [14] On the strength of this performance, Ojo was one of the few England backs to be retained in the starting XV for the second Test in Christchurch. [15]

Controversy

During the 2008 summer tour to New Zealand, Ojo and several other England players were allegedly involved in an incident late at night on 14 June 2008 after a drinking session following defeat in their first match. [16] No formal complaint was issued to the New Zealand police. However, on 10 July 2008, Ojo along with teammate Mike Brown was found guilty of misconduct and fined £500 for staying out until after 7.00 the following morning. [17] [18] [19] Danny Care was found not guilty of any misconduct. David Strettle was found not guilty of any misconduct but was warned to not put himself in potentially compromising situations in future.

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References

  1. "Topsy Ojo: Ojo safely on fast track in a topsy-turvy world". The Independent. 3 November 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
  2. "London Irish 26–30 Wasps". BBC. 2 October 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  3. "Topsy turvy". BBC. 11 May 2006. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  4. "Gloucester 36–34 London Irish". BBC. 21 May 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  5. "London Irish 20–19 Harlequins". BBC. 2 September 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  6. "Heineken Cup semi-finals 2008". BBC. 26 April 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  7. "London Irish Playing Squad 2013/14". London Irish. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  8. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/39491491
  9. "England U21 14–29 New Zealand U21". BBC. 13 June 2006. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  10. "England Saxons 51–3 USA". BBC. 18 May 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  11. "Depleted England add Ojo to squad". BBC. 31 May 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  12. "Italy A 15 England Saxons 38". RFU. 9 February 2008. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2008.
  13. "Borthwick to lead England in NZ". BBC. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  14. "New Zealand 37–20 England". BBC. 14 June 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  15. "New Zealand 44–12 England". BBC. 21 June 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  16. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2008/jul/11/englandrugbyunionteam.rugbyunion
  17. "Brown & Ojo guilty of misconduct". BBC. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 10 July 2008.
  18. "Ojo and Brown fined for misconduct as Care and Strettle are found not guilty in an RFU probe". Daily Mail. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  19. "How England players' night out erupted into scandal in New Zealand". Telegraph. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2014.