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Rory Underwood MBE


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The sight of Rory Underwood racing outside the opposition defence to score was a familiar one in the colours of club and country for more than a decade.

A career as a pilot with the Royal Air Force led to the ‘Flying Wing’ headlines and Underwood lived up to the billing with 134 tries in 236 games for Leicester Tigers following his debut in 1983.

He made his England debut in 1984 and played in three Grand Slam teams and at three World Cups, including the 1991 final.

The first Englishman to reach 50 caps, he also became the national team’s record try-scorer with 49 in 85 games (1984-96).

In 1992 Rory and Tony Underwood became the first brothers to play together for England since 1937.

The older brother, Rory also gained six Test caps with the British & Irish Lions on tour in 1989 and 1993.

A league title winner in 1988, Rory played in four cup finals, winning two, and achieved success in representative rugby at county, divisional and Services levels.

Awarded the MBE for services to rugby in 1994, he moved into management consultancy after leaving the RAF and joined the Tigers Board of Directors in 2007.