Our Rugby team
Austin Healey is a former English rugby union player, who played as a utility back for Leicester Tigers, and has represented the England national rugby union team and the British Lions.
A versatile player, he has 51 England caps and 2 Lions caps. He has played for England at scrum half, fly-half, fullback and wing.
He has played in 4 x Five/Six Nations tournaments (‘98-’02) and was a key figure in the 1999 World Cup. In the 1999/00 season he was voted both Leicester Tigers’ and Allied Dunbar’s Player of the Season.
Over a 12 season professional domestic career, Austin was part of the highly successful Leicester Tigers side which won four English Premiership titles and two Heineken Cups during his time at the club. He was instrumental in Leicester’s Heineken Cup wins after making the break during the 2001 final that resulted in the winning try, and in 2002, scoring the second and decisive try against Munster.
Healey’s autobiography, Lions, Tigers and Roses, was published by Oxford University Press in 2001.
Since he retired from playing professional rugby, Austin competed in the sixth series of the BBC competition series Strictly Come Dancing and later that year joined Gary Lineker on the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Christmas special, winning £50,000 for their chosen Charity; Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.
Austin presented The Big Tackle on ITV in March 2009, aimed at promoting and assisting rugby clubs around the country. In January 2009, he obtained his basic coaching qualifications, in order to put him in a better position from which to advise clubs.
Austin competed on show one of the new series of Beat the Star in April 2009 before becoming a team captain for the second series of BBC’s Hole in the Wall. He was also the host of the ITV gameshow The Fuse.
In April 2010, ESPN announced that Austin is lead analyst for its coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby.
Ben Kay is a former English rugby union player who played as a second row for Leicester Tigers and has represented the England national rugby union team and the British Lions
He has 51 England caps and 2 Lions caps
Kay joined The Tigers in 1999, staying with the club throughout his 11 season career. He was voted Tigers Members’ Player of the Season in 2001/2002 and was on the shortlist for Premiership Player of the Year in the same year
Kay’s highly successful club career with the Tigers saw him win the Premiership six times and the Heineken Cup twice
He has played in three Six Nations tournaments, including England’s Grand Slam in 2003
Kay was an integral member of England’s 2003 World Cup winning squad, playing every minute of all but one game in the tournament as England beat Australia in the final. He also featured in every minute of England’s march to the World Cup final in 2007.
He was one of just four players to start both England’s World Cup finals in 2003 and 2007
On 9th June 2010, ESPN announced that Ben was to be their co-commentator for the recently acquired Aviva Premiership rights, which start in September 2010 for an initial three seasons.
Nick’s career began in print journalism as he worked for local newspapers the Loughborough Trader and Loughborough Echo.
He joined the BBC in 1985, working first for BBC Radio Leicester and then BBC Radio Kent. In 1991, he moved to BBC Radio Sport, reporting for BBC Radio 1, 2, 4 and Five Live.
Nick joined BBC Radio Sport as a producer for programmes such as Sport On 4 with Cliff Morgan, before moving into hosting shows including Sport On Five and Any Sporting Questions.
Nick was part of the BBC’s radio commentary team at the last four Rugby World Cups and has also covered Six Nations Championships, Guinness Premierships and Anglo-Welsh Cup matches.
Nick has commentated on a variety of other sports, including The University Boat Race, Wimbledon, the London Marathon, Sydney Olympics, Manchester Commonwealth Games and Athens Olympics.
He began work for Rugby Special in 1995 and was the BBC’s first TV touchline reporter in the early years of Heineken Cup coverage, following which he took up a role as commentator.
In May 2010, ESPN announced the signing of Nick Mullins as lead commentator for its live coverage of the Aviva Premiership Rugby.
Mark Durden-Smith began his career working in the BBC’s regional newsrooms, before becoming a researcher on Saturday Night Clive and Clive Anderson Talks Back
He earned his first presenting job in 1996 with Sky Sports, where he fronted the network’s live rugby union coverage, including domestic, European and international fixtures and various other programmes
Mark moved to terrestrial television in 2002 as a presenter on Channel 4’s morning programme RI:SE
He has presented a range of shows for ITV2, including seven series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me out of Here! Now, Celebrity Drop, Soapstar Superstar and Hell’s Kitchen: Extra Portions
Mark has hosted three series of Sky One’s The Match as well as Double or Nothing and the Police Bravery Awards for the channel, while he also presented BBC1’s National Lottery show Millionaire Manor
In 2007, Mark presented ITV’s Wish You Were Here…? Now and Then, in which he visited holiday destinations the original programme covered to see how they had changed. In the same year he fronted ITV’s award winning coverage of the University Boat Race
In August 2010, ESPN announced it had signed Mark Durden Smith as lead presenter of its live coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby
Sarra began her television career acting on the popular Welsh soap Pobol y Cwm. Whilst acting she secured her first presenting role on BBC Wales’ show The Wrap.
Her presenting experience covers a wide range of programmes, including The Saturday Show, Top of the Pops Saturday and Xchange for the BBC, and, Play the Game, Dial-a-Date and Pop Factory for ITV.
For Welsh television Sarra’s credits include music shows A Song For Wales, Pop Factory Music Awards, Popty, Bandit and Cân y Gymru, children’s sports programme Rygbi 100%, and art show Cer i Greu, for S4C.
Sarra’s extensive experience as a sports presenter has seen her covering rugby and Celtic League Rugby for S4C and Speedway for Sky. She was also CBBC’s reporter on Euro 2004 in Portugal.
Sarra has also hosted radio shows for BBC Radio Wales and Cardiff station Red Dragon.
In August 2010, ESPN announced it had signed Sarra Elgan as a reporter on its live coverage of Aviva Premiership Rugby.