Brian Moore of England takes on Alexander Tikhonov of the Soviet Union during the Rugby Union International match played at Twickenham (1991)

MAN OF extremes, and excess. Brian Moore celebrated the 1989 Lions win so hard that he got ridiculously drunk, made an Aussie guy ill through a drinking challenge, upset the bloke’s wife, then had to be rescued by journalists who spotted him doing aeroplane impressions amid the traffic on Sydney Harbour Bridge. He collapsed in his hotel and missed the celebrations almost before they’d begun.

His intensity on the field, and willingness to tell it how it is, won him an army of English admirers – and made him reviled elsewhere. The Scots were furious when he criticised their negativity in the 1995 Grand Slam game, one club, Annan, even setting up a website inviting viewers to vote on the question: “Is Brian Moore the Anti-Christ?” Moore voted countless times but lost by a heavy majority.

The passage of time – this autobiography comes 15 years after his first – has softened few of his views, which are varied and hard-hitting. Some issues are covered in our feature (see page 88); others are no less fascinating, such as the lengths to which Moore went to combine Test rugby with a high-flying legal career.

The day before England played New Zealand in 1993, Moore flew to Glasgow and back to take vital witness statements for a complex negligence claim. He worked on them until past midnight, squeezing in an England team meeting in between. This constant juggling act led to exhaustion and early signs of clinical depression – a strange reward for representing your country. Without pay.


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This article appeared in the February 2010 issue of Rugby World Magazine

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