A genuine sporting great, Andy Farrell has enjoyed an extraordinary playing career in rugby, captaining the Great Britain team and the Wigan Warriors Rugby League Club. In 2016, it was announced that Andy would take up the role of Ireland defence coach. On the speaking circuit, he shares his unique insights into teamwork and leadership to motivate his business audiences.
One of the UK’s best-loved sporting figures, rugby star Andy Farrell’s extraordinary playing career has provided him with effective messages and unique insights into teamwork and leadership to impart to businesses.
Andy’s rare natural talent was apparent when, at a very young age, he started playing Rugby League, and became the youngest player to make a senior first-team debut at 16; the youngest winner of the Challenge Cup when he was not yet 18; the youngest full international at 18; and the youngest ‘Player of the Year’ in 1994.
Born in Wigan, Andy began playing with local club - Orrell St James - before debuting for Wigan in 1991. A natural born leader, Andy went on to captain Wigan, making 370 appearances for them and scoring an unprecedented 2693 points.
After winning 5 Championships and 4 Challenge Cups with Wigan, Andy scooped the 1998 Super League and 2002 Challenge Cups as captain, and, in 2001, he set the club's record for most points in a season.
In 2004, he won the Golden Boot as the best player in the world, the Man of Steel Award twice, and the Players Player Award.
Just after being appointed club captain, Andy was given the honour of the Great Britain captaincy in 1996, leading the side on their tour to New Zealand, Papua Guinea and Fiji. He made 34 appearances for Great Britain and also represented England in two World Cups.
Andy’s clear and precise vision, alongside his impressive boot, made him one of the few players in the game who not only excelled individually, but brought out the best in his teammates.
From League to Union, Andy’s talents knew no bounds. He took on the challenge of Rugby Union with London club Saracens but, sadly, was beleaguered with injuries and a car accident which impeded his entry to the port. It wasn’t long, however, before the England coaches selected him to bring his experience and rugby brain into the team.
Andy played in the 2007 6 Nations championship as well as the ’07 world cup, where England lost in the final. He made eight Test appearances in total.
He went on to coach at Saracens where he was highly respected and was a key part of them winning the 2010/2011 Premiership in an exciting Twickenham spectacle. His son Owen starred in this game, and, although only 19 at the time, showed maturity and skill beyond his age.
For the 2010/11 RBS 6 Nations tournament, Andy was recruited by the RFU to the post of England Backs Coach working alongside Stuart Lancaster and Graeme Rowntree. This fresh, motivated and talented coaching team resurrected the England team after a poor world cup, and Andy was appointed a full-time England coach.
In 2016, it was announced that Andy would take up the role of Ireland defence coach after the completion of the 2016 Six Nations Championship.