|Birth name||William David Charles Carling|
|Date of birth||12 December 1965|
|Place of birth||Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, England|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Weight||90 kg (198 lb; 14 st 2 lb)|
|University||Hatfield College, Durham|
|Rugby union career|
The son of Lt Col Bill Carling and his first wife, Will Carling attended Terra Nova School in Cheshire and then Winder House, Sedbergh School, on an army scholarship. He later graduated with a degree in Psychology from Hatfield College, University of Durham.
Carling played for Rosslyn Park and then joined Harlequins, where he specialised as a centre. In 1988, he became England captain at the age of 22. He was the most successful holder of the post until Martin Johnson's period. His first match as captain was a shock win over Australia by 28-19. During his time he led England to back-to-back Five Nations Grand Slam victories (1991, 1992) and another Grand Slam in 1995, scoring six tries from outside centre in the Championship, and several more in other matches. While regarded as a less complete player than his centre partner, Jeremy Guscott, Carling and his team reached the final of the 1991 Rugby World Cup. After Carling's retirement as captain, no England team managed a Five (or Six) Nations Grand Slam until 2003.
Under Carling England started to challenge and beat the established rugby union powers such as New Zealand and Australia, and their success helped to make rugby union a more popular sport in England. English victories over New Zealand and South Africa in 1993 were perhaps the peak of England's performance under Carling.
Carling's career included the 1993 British Lions tour to New Zealand. He underachieved on that tour, a pattern attributed by coach Ian McGeechan and manager Geoff Cooke as at least partly due to his failing to secure the captaincy (this instead going to Gavin Hastings of Scotland) but also due in large part to the ascendency in the centre of both Guscott and Scott Gibbs of Wales. McGeechan and Cooke disclosed that Carling came close to voluntarily withdrawing from the squad; he did however recover his test place and played a notable role in the third test. McGeechan commented in his autobiography that Carling's failure to rise to the occasion as a Lion (in contrast to Guscott) may be seen by some as the difference between his legacy as a good player and a great player.
In the run-up to the 1995 World Cup, after England returned to form with their third Grand Slam in five years, Carling described the Rugby Football Union general committee as "57 old farts" which led to his sacking as captain. The incident had been provoked by administrator Dudley Wood's comments about England players' alleged desire to cheat by breaking the amateur ethic. He was however quickly reinstated due to public pressure and following a public apology was able to go to the 1995 Rugby World Cup. There England, after a slow start, found form, won all their group games and knocked out Australia in the quarter final 25-22, thanks to a last-minute drop-goal from Rob Andrew. They were well beaten by New Zealand in the semi-final, largely thanks to four tries from Jonah Lomu. Although Carling himself scored two tries towards the end of that game, and set up two more for Rory Underwood, England lost 45-29. The subsequent loss in the third place play-off, against France, was England's first loss to the French in seven years.
Following his resignation from the England captaincy he continued to be selected as an outside centre, usually with Guscott or Phil de Glanville. The latter succeeded him as captain.
After his rugby career ended he became a TV pundit on rugby union. He has also worked as a motivational speaker and in 2001 founded Will Carling Management Ltd, a corporate hospitality company which is also involved in the rugby social networking website "Rucku".
George Gregan, an Australian player, equalled Carling's then world record 59 matches as captain in the 2007 Rugby World Cup against Fiji and in the 2009 Tri Nations Series Springbok John Smit equalled and then beat his record in tests between New Zealand in Bloemfontein and Durban respectively. Also Brian O'Driscoll Ireland/Lions 2009 and 2010 and Richie McCaw have broken his record in 2011.
Carling is married to his second wife Lisa, the ex-wife of David Cooke. The couple have two children. Carling has an older son with former partner Ali Cockayne. Carling was previously married to the television presenter Julia Carling. Prior to their divorce, he was romantically linked by some members of the press with Diana, Princess of Wales, the then-wife of Prince Charles. Carling has denied any such relationship.
Carling, whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was an infant and later died from the disease, is a patron of the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer. In August 2014, Carling was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.
|1||5 November||Australia||Twickenham, London||28–19||Test Match|
|2||4 February||Scotland||Twickenham, London||12–12||1989 Five Nations|
|3||18 February||Ireland||Lansdowne Road, Dublin||16–3|
|4||4 March||France||Twickenham, London||11–0||1 Try|
|5||18 March||Wales||Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff||9–12|
|6||4 November||Fiji||Twickenham, London||58–23||Test Match|
|7||20 January||Ireland||Twickenham, London||23–0||1990 Five Nations|
|8||3 February||France||Parc des Princes, Paris||26–7||1 Try|
|9||17 February||Wales||Twickenham, London||34–6||1 Try|
|10||17 March||Scotland||Murrayfield, Edinburgh||7–13|
|11||28 July||Argentina||Vélez Sársfield, Buenos Aires||25–12||Argentina Series|
|12||4 August||Vélez Sársfield, Buenos Aires||13–15|
|13||3 November||Argentina||Twickenham, London||51–0||Test Match|
|14||19 January||Wales||Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff||25–6||1991 Five Nations|
|15||16 February||Scotland||Twickenham, London||21–12|
|16||2 March||Ireland||Lansdowne Road, Dublin||16–7|
|17||16 March||France||Twickenham, London||21–19|
|18||20 July||Fiji||National Stadium, Suva||28–12||Test Match|
|19||27 July||Australia||Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney||15–40||Test Match|
|20||3 October||New Zealand||Twickenham, London||12–16||1991 Rugby World Cup|
|21||8 October||Italy||Twickenham, London||36–6|
|22||11 October||United States||Twickenham, London||37–9||1 Try|
|23||19 October||France||Parc des Princes, Paris||19–10||1 Try|
|24||26 October||Scotland||Murrayfield, Edinburgh||9–6|
|25||2 November||Australia||Twickenham, London||6–12||1991 Rugby World Cup Final|
|26||18 January||Scotland||Murrayfield, Edinburgh||25–7||1992 Five Nations|
|27||1 February||Ireland||Twickenham, London||38–9|
|28||15 February||France||Parc des Princes, Paris||31–13|
|29||7 March||Wales||Twickenham, London||24–0||1 Try|
|30||17 October||Canada||Wembley Stadium, London||26–13||Test Match|
|31||14 November||South Africa||Twickenham, London||33–16||Test Match||1 Try|
|32||16 January||France||Twickenham, London||16–15||1993 Five Nations|
|33||9 February||Wales||Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff||9–10|
|34||6 March||Scotland||Twickenham, London||26–12|
|35||20 March||Ireland||Lansdowne Road, Dublin||3–17|
|36||27 November||New Zealand||Twickenham, London||15–9||Test Match|
|37||5 February||Scotland||Murrayfield, Edinburgh||15–14||1994 Five Nations|
|38||19 February||Ireland||Twickenham, London||12–13|
|39||5 March||France||Parc des Princes, Paris||18–14|
|40||19 March||Wales||Twickenham, London||15–8|
|41||4 June||South Africa||Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria||32–15||South Africa Series|
|42||11 June||Newlands, Cape Town||9–27|
|43||12 November||Romania||Twickenham, London||54–3||Test Match||1 Try|
|44||10 December||Canada||Twickenham, London||60–9||Test Match|
|45||21 January||Ireland||Lansdowne Road, Dublin||20–8||1995 Five Nations||1 Try|
|46||4 February||France||Twickenham, London||31–10|
|47||18 February||Wales||Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff||23–9|
|48||18 March||Scotland||Twickenham, London||24–12|
|49||27 May||Argentina||Kings Park Stadium, Durban||24–18||1995 Rugby World Cup|
|50||4 June||Western Samoa||Kings Park Stadium, Durban||44–22|
|51||11 June||Australia||Newlands, Cape Town||25–22|
|52||18 June||New Zealand||Newlands, Cape Town||29–45||2 Tries|
|53||22 June||France||Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria||9–19|
|54||18 November||South Africa||Twickenham, London||14–24||Test Match|
|55||16 December||Western Samoa||Twickenham, London||27–9||Test Match|
|56||20 January||France||Parc des Princes, Paris||12–15||1996 Five Nations|
|57||3 February||Wales||Twickenham, London||21–15|
|58||2 March||Scotland||Murrayfield, Edinburgh||18–9|
|59||16 March||Ireland||Twickenham, London||28–15|
| English National Rugby Union Captain
Nov 1988-Mar 1989
Nov 1989-May 1995
Jun 1995-Mar 1996
Phil de Glanville