|Weight||122kg (19st 2lb)|
Hunger for the game has shone through the performances of Matt Stevens, who returned to action in February 2011 after an enforced two-year absence. His England career was again interrupted when he was ruled out of the 2012 summer tour to South Africa through a shoulder injury.
He was reunited with an England jersey after a gap dating back to November 2008 and produced a commanding display at tight head prop for the Saxons in the 87-8 win over the USA in the opening Churchill Cup match at Northampton on June 4, 2011.
Matt started the other games against Tonga and Canada, was a cornerstone in their ultimate triumph and returned to the senior side two months later in the RWC preparatory match against Wales at Twickenham. He has appeared in 11 of the subsequent 12 Tests, having made his fortieth Test appearance in the 13-6 win over Scotland at Murrayfield in February 2012.
A former Bath player, he can play on either side of the scrum, joined Saracens after completing his ban on January 19 last year and said: “I have been welcomed with open arms and am looking forward to launching the next phase of my career.”
Durban-born Matt has done that in style, making 28 appearances in 14 months for Saracens that include his major contribution to the 22-18 win over Leicester Tigers in the Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham last May. Two days later, he was included in the England Saxons squad.
He had enjoyed a meteoric rise into the England strata, made his debut against New Zealand eight years ago and played in seven RWC matches in 2007, including the final against South Africa when being used as a replacement for his captain Phil Vickery. Matt had already toured New Zealand with the British & Irish Lions two years earlier and played six times for the midweek team.
A forward of immense stature and a powerful runner with ball in hand, he joined Bath in 2002 after representing the Junior Springboks U18 and U19. As a British passport holder, he appeared for England U21 in the 2003 Junior World Cup after winning honours for Western Province and South African Universities. He also studied at Bath University where he obtained a BSc in Politics and Economics.
Away from rugby, Matt reached the final of ITV's Celebrity X-Factor, his television appearances raising £125,000 for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.
2004 NZ(1R,2R) 2005 I, It, S, NZ(R), Sam 2006 W, It, F 2007 SA(2), W(R), F, F(R) World Cup - USA(R), SA, Sam, Tg, A(R), F(R), SA(R) 2008 W(R), It, F(R),S(R), I(R), NZ(1,2), PI, A(R), SA(R), NZ(R) 2011 W, W(R), I(R) World Cup - Arg(R), G, S, F 2012 S (R), It (R), W(R), F(R), I(R)
Last updated: June 18, 2012