With 11 years of professional rugby, 55 international caps, 31 international tries and a Rugby World Cup behind him, it was a treat for Eton pupils, staff and members of our school community to welcome Will Greenwood to the Jafar Hall this week. As Press Officer Atan H writes: when Will Greenwood talks, it is a pleasure to listen.

Will explained to a packed audience that his pathway into rugby wasn’t the smooth sailing many would expect. At school and university he played in lower teams, but persevered through sheer determination. Comparing himself to Donkey from Shrek, a character known for never giving up, was an ideal analogy for an audience of teenage boys! It was also an extremely important message to anyone involved with sport at Eton.

Beginning his career at Harlequins, he also worked at HSBC as a trader, learning how to intertwine the skills of his two different professions. His international career kicked off with selection for the 1997 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa, although at this point he was still uncapped for his home country. Later in the same year, he made his debut for England.

Will spoke about attending a military bootcamp with fellow rugby legends like Lawrence Dallaglio and playing in between Mike Tindall and Jonny Wilkinson; anecdotes which can only be told by few. He remembered his chemistry with Mike Tindall and their complementary playing style, explaining “he couldn’t pass, and I couldn’t tackle, so I’d do the passing and he’d do the tackling”.

He couldn’t pass and I couldn’t tackle, so I’d do the passing and he’d do the tackling!

Will Greenwood on playing with Mike Tindall

Now working as a pundit, Will also writes a column for the Daily Telegraph which dissects the members, training and performance of the England rugby team.

From rugby to sports commentary, Will Greenwood has had a remarkable career and members of the Eton Community were grateful to have had the opportunity to hear his story.