Neil Back MBE


A legend of the game, Neil Back MBE has played a fundamental role in some of the most momentous games of the modern era. A 2003 Rugby World Cup winner, Neil was a key figure in the successful campaign, scoring two tries and finishing his international career with the greatest accolade in Rugby to his name. A wonderful rugby speaker, Neil has a host of anecdotal tales he can deliver during talks, giving audience members an insight into what it was like to be the best in the world.

Beginning his senior playing career at Nottingham RFC, Neil moved to Leicester Tigers after two years, becoming a stalwart figure within the side. Back would stay at the Tigers for the next eighteen years as both a player and coach, amassing an amazing 339 caps and 125 tries for the side. Making his international debut against Scotland in 1994 in the Calcutta Cup and representing England at the 1995 World Cup against South Africa, Neil continually impressed within the squad, leading to a call up for the 1997 British & Irish Lions Tour to South Africa. Neil played in two tests, contributing significantly with consistent performances towards the side’s campaign success. Describing some of the hardest games of his life as a rugby speaker, Neil is a captivating character who brings key moments in Rugby history to life.

A master of the maul, Back was the Tigers’ and the Premierships (16 tries) leading try scorer in 1999 with a major tactic of the side being to kick penalties to touch in order to drive over the line. Among many of Back’s memorable moments in his career, Neil’s performance in the 2001 Heineken Cup final must be one of the greatest. Scoring a try as well as winning the line-out to set up Leon Lloyd’s winning try, Back was elemental in the side’s success.  An ideal sports speaker for corporate functions, Neil can draw upon many of the skill sets needed in Rugby and relate them to the business world, leaving audience members motivated to achieve all they can.

Representing England and the Tigers as captain on multiple occasions, Neil’s leadership ensured his side performed as a unit, becoming a formidable force to any team the squad faced. Discussing the attributes needed to control a team of driven individuals during talks as an after dinner speaker, Neil is an ideal personality to deliver invaluable advice to business and social environments alike.

Following England’s World Cup success in 2003, Neil started his coaching career at Leicester Tigers as a player/coach before switching to a full time career in coaching after his retirement following the 2005 Lions Tours. Back has since gone on to be Head Coach of Leeds Carnegie from 2008-2011, The Rugby Football Club (2011) Ltd from 2011-2012 then Edinburgh Rugby 2012-2013. Neil’s impressive experience in coaching elite sportsmen shows his inherent leadership qualities that are essential to success in any aspect of life.

Neil Back has won five premiership titles, two European titles and of course, a Rugby World Cup, a Lions series and has been inducted into the RFU Hall of Fame, making him one of the most celebrated Rugby players ever. As a coach he achieved a premiership title and an Anglo Welsh Cup in 2007 with Leicester Tigers. A consummate professional, Neil has addressed a multitude of audiences as an accomplished rugby speaker, making him one of the most sought after figures on the after dinner speaker circuit.

An equally adept event host, Neil can oversee your function, ensuring everything runs smoothly whilst engaging and interacting with guests to give everyone an idea what it was like to face some of the most revered players of the time.

To book Neil Back MBE as the rugby speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When at corporate events, Neil is known to cover the following topics:

  • Rugby Speaker
  • Sports Speaker
  • Teamwork
  • Charity Work
  • Peak Performance
  • Drive & Determination
  • Realising Ambitions

“Neil was the perfect guest speaker our event. He carefully tailored his speech to suit the audience (KS1-KS5 students, parents and staff) and we received many comments from parents, headteachers and school children on how much they enjoyed his speech. He was personable and had a great rapport with students and staff.”  – Sam Berry, Three Rivers & Watford School Sports Partnership

“I picked up Neil from his Hotel and he was waiting for me in reception. He was immaculately dressed and straight away he came across in a friendly manner. In the back of my car was my wife and two of my boys Cameron (13) and Rory (11). Neil introduced himself and immediately started talking to my boys about their rugby. We arrived at the rugby club and Neil continued his conversation with the boys for another five minutes. He then did something very special. He pulled out his World Cup medal and handed it to Rory. Well the look on that little boys face was priceless. As soon as we entered the clubhouse Neil introduced himself to some of the guests. He was relaxed and came across as sincere and genuinely interested in them. Neil’s speech was excellent. It was just the right length and had many funny stories as well as giving an insight into Premiership rugby and that 2003 World Cup campaign. Neil was eager to keep things moving along as he wanted to get into the bar so he could mingle with the guests. I thought that summed up Neil’s whole attitude towards the evening. He wanted to be a part of the event and wanted to make sure that our guests could talk with him in a more relaxed environment. I have had lots of very positive feedback from the conversations our guest had with Neil. At midnight Neil’s taxi arrived. I said that we had to go but I could see he was not ready and asked if he would like me to put the taxi back. ‘Yes please’ was his reply. I think again this showed that Neil was not just there to grab his fee and go. He genuinely wanted to have a good night out with like minded people. So a great and genuine guy who put his heart and soul into the night. He certainly made my boys night and I shall be forever grateful to Neil for that very special memory.” Paul Mair – Chairman Whitchurch Rugby 

“Neil joined England Rugby Travel for the opening game of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations Championship in Paris. We had never worked with Neil before but his attitude, application, fun and humour around clients was excellent. He mixed insightful knowledge and understanding with the ability to be at ease around fans and it greatly added to the experience. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Neil or work with him again in the future.” England Rugby Travel

“All of the boys were inspired by your professionalism, knowledge, expertise and, importantly, approachability – you even won over the Welsh. The post-training session was the ideal way to wind down after the intensity of the physical and we all thoroughly enjoyed the Q & As, especially the As.” Paul Wapshott – Hon. Sec. Oswestry RFC – QBE Coaching session

“Neil was an absolute legend last Saturday! Very happy to have him again.” Carmen Grisolia, THG

“Neil came down to North Devon to support North Devon Hospice’s “ Man Trak” event, a sponsored walk between Barnstaple and Bideford rugby clubs on the 6 Nations Super Saturday with England going for the Grand Slam. Neil could not have been a bigger hit. Without any chaperoning needed Neil made himself available to everyone, made time for everyone and when it came for him to say a few words, gave a very honest view on rugby today as well as deploying a sense of humour highly effectively when it came to the “questions and answers”. When he arrived at Barnstaple in a separate room at the club there was a kids birthday party and he didn’t blink when he was asked to nip in and say hello. Happy to share his World Cup Winner’s medal with everyone, Neil could not have done anymore, staying well past 11pm on the Saturday night. I would conclude by saying that I believe Neil would be a great success for any event whether corporate or charity.” Stephen Roberts, North Devon Hospice

“Neil was great- arrived early and was a total professional. His presentation was exactly as we had discussed- our event attendees were delighted to hear from him and to meet with him afterwards during our networking drinks.” Rebecca Cleveland, Zyme Solutions

“Neil Back was fantastic – a very easy guy to get along with and he mingled with all the guests really well.  He arrived in plenty of time and got into the swing of things immediately.  It only took about 5 minutes for the Munster fans amongst the guests to have a crack at him!  He dealt with everything with great humour. He gave all present a terrific insight into the professional game and there were some brilliant stories which all rugby fans love to hear. A top guy and he would be welcome back at Bowdon RUFC any time.” Neil Buckley, Bowdon RUFC, Senior Clerk

“It went really well, Neil was fantastic the students were totally engaged and fingers crossed we got the message across that we needed. We are hoping that Neil will join us at a few fixtures now as the teams have asked him to come along so whatever he said must have worked. Thank you for helping us arrange Neil top come and speak to the students, fingers crossed it will bring home the win.” Natalie Goulder, Coventry University

“Following on from Neil Back’s amazing speech – He was great! He really communicated well with the audience and adapted to the environment of the site too. He was fantastic in delivering the key messages and responded very well to questions from the floor and our COO.” Zoe Wood, Site Leadership & Engagement Coordinator, Lucozade Ribena Suntory

“The event went really well and we even took Neil for a couple at one of our sponsors’ bars afterwards. I just sent him the photo album on Facebook and thanked him for coming over!”  Rugby Club Luxembourg

“Neil was good, and very personable and generous with the audience. He was a very nice guy and who had an impressive career indeed.” Christina Turner, Duracell UK Ltd. Associate Marketing Director

“Neil was through and through a really decent and nice guy, he spoke well and connected well to all in attendance. Not everyone there was a Rugby fan, but his message was motivational and inspiring for everyone there. He was also very patient as we went through a long presentation ceremony with our workforce and I was very thankful for his contribution”
CharlesBoneham Engineering

“The SRL celebrated its 50th Anniversary this year and we wanted to host an event that would be remembered. This was the first time the union had hosted a black tie event and given rugby is a minority sport in Finland, our guest speaker needed to be someone that Finnish players could recognise. Champions offered me a great range of speakers, but my dilemma was that many of them would only be known but the expats attending the event. Neil Back however was someone that many knew due to him being a World Cup winner with England in 2003 and for the infamous Leicester game featuring the Hand of Back. Neil was a pleasure to deal with and did exactly as he promised, one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave. Open to conversation with all attendees and was very accommodating. The stories told were of high calibre and the presentation of the RWC2003 medal was great. Especially appreciated by those that got to hold and wear it. I would have no hesitations in recommending Neil for anyone thinking of hosting a great night.” – Steve, Rugby Finland

“Can you pass our thanks from the club to Neil for a great evening and what a gentleman! We will be certainly using you again” – Tracy