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English rugby needs a guy like Gary Neville

The 85 times capped defender has been called up to inspire England’s youthful Six Nations squad

Gary Neville, interviewed by Sky colleague, Nick Collins.
Gary Neville, interviewed by Sky colleague, Nick Collins.
Image: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire/Press Association Images

GARY NEVILLE IS a man of many talents. Obviously he was a footballer, and he has received much acclaim for his insight as a pundit. He also revelled in the role of shop-steward for his fellow pros and now, apparently, now he is a motivational speaker.

Less than a week after clearing the decks, English rugby’s interim head coach, Stuart Lancaster, appears to have spotted the considerable experience gaps in his squad for the forthcoming Six Nations. So, when the international squad convenes in Leeds next Monday, Neville will be on hand to pass on his worldly wisdom.

The former Manchester United captain, 36, will be one of a number of speakers from across the spectrum of English sport put forward to discuss elite performance.

“These people know all about what it means to represent their country, what it means to fight for their country,” Lancaster told the Daily Telegraph.

Neville will reportedly be joined by: retired serviceman, Simon Brown, England cricket managing director, Hugh Morris; Dave Brailsford, the performance director for British Cycling and also, rugby league internationals, Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield.

“We want to create a sense of what a privileged place it is to be in elite sport. Cycling and cricket have clearly done something well, haven’t they?” concluded Lancaster.

Neville has yet to confirm his involvement in the assembly, but the Daily Mail (whose sister publication, the Mail on Sunday print a weekly column by the pundit) report that he is indeed ‘likely’ to be one of those in attendance.

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