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Matt Dawson's Biography

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Who is Matt Dawson?

Matt Dawson was born on 31 October 1972 in Birkenhead.

As a youngster Matt Dawson was an all-round sportsman. He was wicket keeper for Buckinghamshire schools and played football for Chelsea Schoolboys at under 13/14 level. However, when he moved from Marlow to Northampton he turned to rugby.

Matt Dawson started his rugby playing career in 1991 with Northampton and gained his England debut against Western Samoa at Twickenham in December 1995.

It was the first of many caps. Dawson gained 77 including nine as captain (the most capped England scrum half).

Matt Dawson and Jonny Wilkinson were the half-back partnership at the core of England's 2003 Grand Slam and World Cup victories.

Dawson was also selected for three Lions tours, and he won the Premiership with Wasps in the first season after his move from Northampton.

Matt Dawson's international career petered out after 2004 when he failed to attend training through business commitments. He was brought back into the squad in 2005 but failed to thrive.

Matt Dawson was often competing with Kyran Bracken for his position in the England team.

The Times revealed that Matt Dawson was not everybody's favourite in the rugby world. They quote former South African captain Corne Krige: "I would have liked nothing more than to knock him out."

Matt Dawson moved from rugby to the world of the media. He became a team captain on the BBC's A Question Of Sport as well as a rugby pundit on Radio 5 live.

Matt Dawson's hobbies include golf (handicap of 12 as at September 2006), snooker and walking his dogs.

Asked by The Telegraph who his sporting heroes were, Matt Dawson replied:

"Muhammad Ali. Rugby-wise, I always looked at Nick Farr-Jones. Other than that, I admire sports people who have something. James Cracknell, who I have trained with, has a hell of a lot of mental strength."

Matt Dawson won Celebrity Masterchef.

In Strictly Come Dancing 2006, Matt Dawson dancing with Lilia Kopylova were runners-up - beaten in the final by Mark Ramprakash and Karen Hardy.

In February 2009, ITV announced that they were broadcasting Matt Dawson's Tough Guy Race on ITV4 on March 5 2009.

In 2016, Matt Dawson was bitten by a tick that caused a bacterial infection called Lyme's Disease, which led to 18 months of treatment and multiple heart operations before his recovery.

In September 2020, it was revealed that Matt Dawson along with fellow captain Phil Tufnell and presenter Sue Barker were to leave A Question Of Sport.

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