Christopher Robert Andrew, MBE, is a former English rugby union footballer and currently Director of Elite Rugby at the RFU. He was formerly the Director of Rugby of Newcastle Falcons.
Rob Andrew attended Barnard Castle School, and was captain of the 1st XV in 1981. He then went on to play for Cambridge University in the Varsity Match. He joined Wasps FC in the 1980s and was first choice fly-half at the club through most of his time there. With Wasps FC he won the English League in 1990, eventually leaving to join Newcastle Gosforth in 1995. The club had just been bought out by Sir John Hall in the leadup to the game turning professional, they became the Falcons of today. During his time in charge of Newcastle Falcons he is credited with discovering Jonny Wilkinson. Curiously, just as Wilkinson had beaten Australia in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final with a drop goal, the last time Australia lost in the same competition was in 1995. Back then, it was Andrew who nailed a drop goal on the stroke of fulltime to beat the Wallabies.
Rob Andrew was England’s most capped stand-off having played 70 times for his country. He has scored in excess of 396 points and is now the highest point scorer in English Rugby Union history. He was a member of the England team who reached the Rugby World Cup Final in 1991 and captured the Grand Slam in 1991 and again in 1992. In autumn 1995, Rob moved on from club rugby with Wasps and further international honours when he took the giant step of becoming Director of Rugby at Newcastle as part of the renaissance of rugby league in the north-east masterminded by Sir John Hall.
In his other life, away from rugby, he was an Associate Director at DTZ Debenham Thorpe heading a team of surveyors advising investors on the buying and selling of commercial property in London. His work involved investors based in the UK and in all areas of the world, including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
His tremendous team skills have been a feature both in his working life and as part of a team competing to make England one of the best Rugby Union nations in the world. His presentation is the outcome of his experiences, incorporating those on and off the rugby pitch with those of being part of a successful team in the business world. This combination, in conjunction with Rob’s powerful delivery, is testimony to the potential that exists in anyone who is prepared to work hard to realise their goals.
Of course, to succeed at sport you need talent, but not only this (as in the case of rugby) you need to be able to work within a team environment. There are very few people who can put into words the factors that have made them the best in their sport. There are even fewer people who can explain how this relates to their success in the work environment. However, Rob Andrew is such a person, he is an excellent example of how life’s achievements can be combined in sport and business.
Rob Andrew has the great ability of being able to tailor his presentations to suit the client’s needs. He incorporates an endless supply of witty anecdotal stories, and he can supply videos, which demonstrate and elucidate the impressive message he is conveying.
He played in the Rugby World Cup in both 1991 and 1995.
On August 18 2006 he was appointed by the RFU to undertake the post of Director of Elite Rugby to oversee all aspects of representative rugby in England, from the regional academies to the full senior side.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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