John Spencer
Birth nameJohn Southern Spencer
Date of birth (1947-08-10) 10 August 1947 (age 76)
Place of birthGrassington, Yorkshire, England
UniversityCambridge University
Rugby union career
Position(s) Centre
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Cambridge University
International career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1969-1971 England 14 (6)

John Southern Spencer (born 10 August 1947)[1] is a former England international rugby union player.

Early life

Spencer was born in Grassington, Yorkshire, in 1947 and educated at Cressbrook, Sedbergh School, and Queens' College, Cambridge.

Playing career

Spencer played for Cambridge in the Varsity Matches of 1967, 1968 and 1969. He played club rugby for Headingley as a centre and made his England debut at the age of 21 against Ireland at Lansdowne Road, Dublin, in February 1969. He went on to play 14 times for England, scoring 2 tries. His last game was against the President's Overseas XV in a Rugby Football Union centenary match at Twickenham in April 1971. He captained England in four internationals.

Spencer was selected for the 1971 British Lions tour to New Zealand and played in ten matches on the tour. He also represented the Barbarians.[2] In a long Barbarians' career Spencer played 23 games, captained the side on 10 occasions and went on seven consecutive Easter tours to Wales. His 11 tries for the club include a hat-trick against Newport in 1973. He also played against South Africa, Scotland and Fiji in 1970.

Administrative roles

Spencer was President of the RFU in 2017-18 and President of the Wharfedale R.U.F.C. in Grassington.

Spencer was the tour manager for the British & Irish Lions on their 2017 tour to New Zealand.[3]

In December 2019 Spencer was named as President of the Barbarians.[4] following his Presidency of the RFU and role as manager of the British & Irish Lions.

Personal life

Spencer is married to Amanda, and has three children, David, Hazel and Emily.


  1. ^ John Spencer player profile
  2. ^ "Spencer announced as Barbarians president". England Rugby. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Spencer appointed Lions tour manager". BBC Sport.
  4. ^ Spencer announced as Barbarians President
Sporting positions Preceded byTony Bucknall English National Rugby Union Captain 1971 Succeeded byBob Hiller Preceded byBob Hiller English National Rugby Union Captain 1971 Succeeded byBob Hiller