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Bill Beaumont - England - Brief biography of England Career.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 01 December 1975

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      Sunday, 09 March 1952
      Preston, England.
  • England
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Bill BEAUMONT - England - Brief biography of England Career.


If proof were ever needed that nice guys do win, William Blackledge Beaumont would be a perfect example. His thoughtful and modest approach gained him the respect of teammates and opponents and would earn him the captaincy of both England and the British Lions. The ball skills and mobility which were his trademark, mean he is one of the few players who could easily have adapted to the game which is played today. In the summer of 1974, Beaumont toured South Africa with Lancashire, an experience which whetted his appetite for international rugby. On returning he was capped by England at under 23 level against the touring Tongans and made his debut for England against Ireland. Retaining his place he made the trip down under, to play in a series which was most notable for its violence.


In the first test Beaumont was hit at the first lineout and left the field to receive attention. Meanwhile, the English prop, Mike Burton, had been sent off and Beaumont returned to the fray to be told he would have to play the remaining 75 minutes at prop; and experience he fortunately survived! Having cemented his place in the England team, Beaumont was considered unlucky to miss out on the British Lions tour to New Zealand in 1977. However, Beaumont joined the touring party as a replacement and was a revelation. His power around the park coupled with the ability to take clean lineout possession, would see him force his way into the test team. He played an integral part in the team that beat the All Blacks in the Christchurch test, forming a formidable partnership with Gordon Brown. Sadly, it was a series where the backs failed to use the ball that the pack had won, and was lost 3-1. (John Lovell)




Bill Beaumont is pictured above playing for England on 17th. February 1979.

Photo G.Herringshaw.  ©


His performances for the Lions, in the All Blacks series, added to Beaumont's growing reputation as a world-class player and in 1978 he was handed the England captaincy. His quiet approach and ability to lead by example meant he was highly thought of on the field. It was this approach which would give him 11 victories as captain. The 1979-1980 season would see him at the height of his powers. He led the North of England to a stunning victory over the touring All Blacks at Otley - few sides have outscored a touring side, 4 tries to 1. This was closely followed by County Championship success with his beloved Lancashire. However, the icing on the cake was the Grand Slam victory of 1980, when Beaumont's men took the title for the first time in 23 years.


He was then given the captaincy of the British Lions team to tour South Africa, the first Englishman to lead the Lions for 23 years. Again, the pack was strong but injuries meant the series was lost 3-1. Beaumont deserved better for his Herculean efforts. He remained in the test side for a further two seasons but during the 1982 County Championship Final, he was injured and acting on medical advice was forced to retire from the game he loved. He remains one of rugby's most popular heroes, due to his modesty and sense of humour. He suggests that his finest moment when he scored his only international try playing for England/Wales against Scotland/Ireland in 1980 - he claims he was always lethal from one yard! After his enforced retirement the ever-popular Beamont became a much respected TV pundit for the BBC. (John Lovell)