Possibly the best scrum half in the world, Matt’s performance in the World Cup-winning England rugby team, and especially his pass that led to the winning kick, earned enormous respect within the sport. A former England captain, Matt is a proven leader and a natural team player and he combines his playing experience with his more recent business lessons to consider the nature of teams, leadership and performance culture. He’s also an accomplished presenter of conferences and awards, where he can pair up with his Question of Sport sparring-partner Phil Tufnell.
Matt Dawson was a scrum half and a key part of the England rugby team that won the 2003 World Cup. One of England’s most capped players of all time, he’s now as well known for his media appearances from A Question of Sport to Masterchef.
As a player, Matt played over 70 times for England, and famously his pass in the dying moments of the World Cup final resulted in the kick that won the game. He also captained England and played on three Lions’ tours. As part of the world-beating team he was involved in a revolutionary set-up that introduced new ideas and professional attitudes. He witnessed first-hand the organisation and team structure, the handing of responsibility to individuals and coaches, the culture of team and player accountability and the analysis of performances.
Since his retirement, Matt has developed two parallel careers: in media and in business. In the former he’s a regular commenting on live matches for BT Sport and BBC 5Live. He’s also one of the longest serving team captains on the BBC perennial A Question of Sport where his banter with opposing captain Phil Tufnell has become a popular feature of a show that’s been on air for over four decades.
In business, Matt balances two jobs; working with commercial property company The Instant Group, and with facilities management giants Sodexo. Working in these areas has given him an insight into businesses, how they run, the expectations of clients, and how to deal with everyday challenges from getting groups to work together to accountability for results.
Constantly challenging himself, Matt won his series of Celebrity Masterchef (which has seen him develop a sideline in food-related books and programmes including Mitch and Matt’s Big Fish) and finishing runner-up in Strictly Come Dancing. He’s also appeared on Would I Lie To You?, The Wright Stuff, and celebrity editions of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and The Chase.
Matt applies lessons from the pitch and dressing room and combines them with his commercial knowledge to deliver messages on everything from staff engagement to leadership culture.
As well as serious business insights he is also an accomplished presenter, adding humour and understanding to awards and to conferences. He also pairs up with his QoS sparring partner Tuffers for an evening of light-hearted chat and anecdotes.
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Matt Dawson on World Cup leadership