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Scott Quinnell

Scott Quinnell (Leon Quinnell)
Birth nameLeon Scott Quinnell
Date of birth (1972-08-20) 20 August 1972 (age 47)
Place of birthMorriston, Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
Height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight18 st 13 lb (120 kg)
SchoolGraig Comprehensive School
Notable relative(s)Derek Quinnell (father)
Craig Quinnell (brother)
Gavin Quinnell (brother)
Barry John (uncle)[1]
Rugby league career
Position(s) Prop, Second-row
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1994–96 Wigan 41 (72)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1995 Wales[2] 2 (0)
Rugby union career
Position(s) No. 8
Current team Retired
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Llanelli Scarlets
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1997, 2001
British and Irish Lions[3][4][5]

Scott Quinnell (born 20 August 1972) is a Welsh former rugby union and rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. He was a number 8 for Wales, Llanelli RFC, Llanelli Scarlets, Richmond and the British and Irish Lions in rugby union. He won 52 caps for Wales (seven as captain) and three for the Lions, and scored 11 international tries for Wales and one for the Lions.[3][4][5]

In 1994 he changed rugby football codes from rugby union to rugby league when he transferred from Richmond F.C. to Wigan, and played two seasons, winning a league championship and two caps for Wales.[2]


Scott was born in Morriston, Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales. He is the son of former Welsh international Derek Quinnell. His two brothers Craig and Gavin played professional rugby union. Gavin lost the sight in one eye after an incident in a 2010 match. The brothers are also nephews of Welsh international Barry John,[1] and Quinnell's godfather was Mervyn Davies.

Early career

Quinnell first joined the Llanelli juniors aged 8 and he made his début as an 18-year-old back in 1990 against Pen-y-groes. He went on to represent Llanelli on 146 occasions, scoring 69 tries.

Quinnell first played for Wales as a blindside flanker in a 26-24 defeat against Canada in 1990. He was part of the 1994 Five Nations-winning Welsh team and was man of the match in Wales' 24-15 victory over France that year with a try and a breakaway to set up another try.

Rugby league

He switched to rugby league in 1994, joining Wigan.[6] He stayed with Wigan for two years, and during this time he won the league. Quinnell played loose forward in Wigan's 25-16 victory over St. Helens in the 1996 Regal Trophy final.[7] He also represented Wales in the 1995 Rugby League World Cup. He said that the toughest game of rugby he ever played was the quarter-final against Western Samoa.[8] Wales went out to England 25-10 in the semi-finals.

Return to union

Quinnell returned to rugby union with Richmond in 1996. He was selected for the 1997 Lions tour of South Africa but a double hernia operation forced him to leave the tour.

He came back to his beloved Stradey Park in 1998. During the 1998-99 season he did no conditioning work at all as he had rheumatoid arthritis in his left knee. For seven years he played through the pain barrier with the condition that seemed likely to end his career.

He was part of a Welsh team that won eight straight games before the 1999 World Cup and then reached the World Cup quarter-finals where they went out 24-9 to the eventual winners Australia. He captained Wales for the first time in a 23-13 defeat by South Africa at the Millennium Stadium. Quinnell played his last game for Wales as a replacement in a 32-21 win over Canada in 2002 after winning 52 caps.

He was again selected for the 2001 Lions tour to Australia where he played in all three tests, and scored a try in the first test in Brisbane.

After the Welsh domestic game went regional in 2003, he appeared 59 times for the Scarlets, scoring 32 tries. He was part of the Llanelli Scarlets team that won the Celtic League title in 2004.

Quinnell announced his retirement from rugby union at the end of the 2004-05 season in order to concentrate on his role as coach of the Llanelli RFC Welsh Premier Division team. A hand injury suffered in March 2005 forced him to end his career a few weeks prematurely. He played his final game in a testimonial match with fellow retiree Rob Howley at the Millennium Stadium. Quinnell's Britain & Ireland selection lost 57-67 to Howley's Rest of the World side.

After retirement

Quinnell currently regularly appears as a commentator and pundit on a number of Sky Sports televised rugby matches. He is also a People's Postcode Lottery ambassador and appears on the adverts. He is a co-presenter and coach (with Will Greenwood) of Sky's School of Hard Knocks TV series. He has had a recurring guest role as himself in the Sky 1 TV comedy series Stella. In 2017 he co-wrote (with psychologist Paul Boross) the book Leader On The Pitch, with a foreword written by Sir Clive Woodward.

Personal life

Quinnell is married to Nicola, and the couple have three children. Having lived all of his life in Llanelli, in early 2009 in light of his increased media commitments, the family moved to Kenilworth, Warwickshire, although they have since moved back to South Wales to a smallholding near Usk.[9]

Quinnell is dyslexic, but was not diagnosed until his early 30s, when his lack of ability to read and write was correctly diagnosed. Having undertaken a series of therapies to resolve the condition, as of 2010, Quinnell is a popular speaker on the matter. He has represented the Welsh Dyslexia Project, and also completed an autobiography[10] as part of the Accent Press Quick Reads series.

In August 2007 Quinnell was treated for serious injuries after slipping whilst entering a shower and falling through a glass shower door at his then home near Llanelli. He was taken to West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen with a severed right triceps, and glass embedded in his right arm, hand and knee.[11]

In 2017, Quinnell published a book on business leadership with Paul Boross.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Quinnell family's shock over sight loss ruling". BBC Sport. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Statistics at (RL)". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Profile at (RU)". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Statistics at (RU)". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Statistics at (RU)". 31 December 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Gareth Thomas completes switch from union to Wales rugby league side Crusaders". UK: Telegraph Media Group Limited. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  7. ^ "13th January 1996: St Helens 16 Wigan 25 (Regal Trophy Final)". 31 December 2014. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Quinnell gives Millennium Magic the thumbs up". SuperLeague. 15 April 2008. Archived from the original on 11 February 2012. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
  9. ^ "Scott Quinnell heads east". 15 May 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  10. ^ Quinnell, Scott – The Hardest Test, published by Accent Press, 2008, ISBN 978-1-906125-95-0
  11. ^ Quinnell hurt in shower accident
  12. ^ Quinnell, Scott – Leader on the Pitch, published by CGW Publishing, 2017, ISBN 978-1-9082934-1-1

External links