Julian White
Julian White.JPG
Birth nameJulian White
Date of birth (1973-05-14) 14 May 1973 (age 49)
Place of birthPlymouth, England
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight118 kg (18 st 8 lb)[1]
Occupation(s)Farmer, professional rugby union player
Rugby union career
Position(s) Prop
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Bridgend RFC
Bristol Shoguns
Leicester Tigers


Correct as of 13 Sep 2006
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
British & Irish Lions
Correct as of 20:26, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Julian Martin White MBE (born 14 May 1973) is an English farmer, best known for his time playing professional rugby union as a prop for Leicester Tigers and England. White was regarded as an aggressive tighthead prop, one of the most powerful forwards in the game, and for his destructive scrummaging.


White was born 14 May 1973 in Plymouth, Devon. As a child he played mini and junior rugby for Salcombe and had played in the same senior side as his father, a former Plymouth Albion player. He served his rugby union apprenticeship with Okehampton and Plymouth Albion and had a spell in New Zealand with Hawke's Bay and Canterbury Crusaders. He made his debut for Hawke's Bay in August 1996 and appeared in the NZ Provincial Championship. He made his only Super 12 appearance as a replacement for the Crusaders against Natal in Christchurch in April 1997.

His time in New Zealand ended in tragedy; he was involved in an auto accident in which a young woman was killed and he suffered a broken leg. As he remembers it,

It was pretty horrific. I was trapped and my head hit the steering wheel. When I came round, my car was inside hers. Both cars were alight. My seatbelt wouldn't open. I bent my seat backwards getting out. Her car was an inferno. I couldn't get near it so started crawling up the road.[2]

He returned to the UK when a Welsh coach who had worked with White at Hawke's Bay told him that Bridgend desperately needed a tighthead.[2] White played for Bridgend in 1998/9 before moving to Saracens in 1999. He swiftly made his Premiership debut in the 28–23 defeat of London Irish at Vicarage Road, Watford on the opening weekend of the season.

White made his England debut against South Africa on England's Summer 2000 tour there. He appeared in his first Twickenham Test against Argentina in November 2001, playing until half time when he was replaced by Phil Vickery.

He toured North America in the summer of 2001, forming a solid front row with Graham Rowntree and Dorian West.

At the start of the 2001–02 season he transferred back to the West Country with Bristol Shoguns. This occurred after a protracted affair where White had attempted to get out of the contract he had signed with Bristol. White did not endear himself to Bristol supporters as he had tried to break out of his contract to join bitter local rivals Bath. In the event, White did become a Bristol player.[3] Along with teammate Daryl Gibson, he joined Leicester Tigers for the 2003–04 season after Bristol were relegated. Replacing the retiring Darren Garforth, his Leicester debut was held over as he was in Australia on duty with England at the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup.

During the World Cup he was in the starting line up against Samoa and came on as a replacement against Uruguay. As part of the victorious squad White earned himself an MBE.[4]

In 2004 White took the opportunity to demonstrate his scrummaging skills in the England front row during the 6 Nations and the summer tour to the Southern Hemisphere.

He was one of the players named in the 2005 British & Irish Lions squad to tour New Zealand, and started in all three tests.

Prior to the 2007 Rugby Union World Cup, White made himself unavailable for selection[5] and did not feature in another England game. In January 2009, it was announced that he had been selected for the England Saxons squad.[6] Later that year, following the suspension of Matt Stevens, he was called up to the full England squad as a replacement.[7]

White was part of the Leicester squads that won the 2007 and 2009 Premiership finals.[8][9]

Personal life

White met his Welsh wife, Sara, in a Cardiff bar in 2004, when he was by his own admission drunk. The couple have two daughters.[2]


In 2006, Sara bought White a South Devon cattle calf for his Christmas present, as White had a developing interest in farming. The couple have since purchased and rented land near the village of Stoke Albany, and now farm 300 acres (120 ha) in the area, keeping 200 head of South Devon cattle and 300 Suffolk-cross ewes as of late 2009. The couple envision a business of selling high-quality beef and lamb to restaurants and supermarkets.[2]


  1. ^ "Aviva Premiership Rugby – Gloucester Rugby". web page. Premier Rugby. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Souster, Mark (10 October 2009). "Julian White thrives in move to pastures new". The Times. London. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  3. ^ BBC news report
  4. ^ "England rugby squad in profile". BBC. 31 December 2003. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  5. ^ Cleary, Mick (3 August 2007). "White puts family before World Cup". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  6. ^ "Foden and Morgan get England calls". bbc.co.uk. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  7. ^ "White takes Stevens England place". BBC News. 21 January 2009. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  8. ^ "Premiership final". BBC. 12 May 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Leicester 10-9 London Irish". BBC. 16 May 2009. Retrieved 9 February 2020.