Mike Davis (rugby union)

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Mike Davis
Birth nameAlec Michael Davis
Date of birth(1942-01-23)23 January 1942
Place of birthLichfield, Staffordshire, England
Date of death10 May 2022 (aged 80)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
  Sherborne RFC ()
  Harlequin F.C. ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1963-70 England 16 (0)
Teams coached
Years Team
1979-83 England

Alec Michael Davis (23 January 1942 – 10 May 2022) was an England rugby union player and head coach. He played rugby as a lock in his youth for Torquay Athletic RFC and represented the county of Devon before being selected for his first England cap[1] in 1963. He remained in rugby all the rest of his life, continuing to his death to coach youth and senior teams in his home town of Sherborne.

Early life and rugby career

Davis was born in Lichfield and went to Torquay Boys' Grammar School before training as a teacher at St Luke's College, Exeter, where he was studying when he was first selected for the England team in 1963. He also studied at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth and HMS Raleigh. In club rugby he played for the Devonport Services R.F.C., Harlequins and the Combined Services team. He played for the Devon and Staffordshire county rugby teams and was captain when Staffordshire won the 1969–70 Rugby Union County Championship. He also played water polo and basketball.[2]

International career


His arrival on the international scene as a player was significant enough that he was profiled in the December 1963 issue of Rugby World magazine.

He was a teacher and coach at Sherborne School (1974–2002) where, alongside Phil Jones between 1975 and 1978, he coached the school to four unbeaten seasons with 35 out of 35 school matches being won. Only a handful of games were lost during a coaching partnership which spanned six seasons.[3]


He was appointed head coach of England for the 1979/80 season, the only England senior coach ever appointed on the merits of their achievements as a school coach rather than a club coach. His international coaching career spanned four seasons to the end of the 1982/83 season. In his first season as coach England won the Grand Slam in the 1980 Five Nations Championship.

Mike Davis England playing and coaching record
Record as a Dates from – to played won drawn lost win percentage
Player 19 January 1963 – 21 March 1970 16 5 2 9 31.25%
Coach 24 November 1979 – 19 March 1983 20 10 3 7 50.00%

School and club coach

He coached England in a strictly amateur era and as such he continued to teach and coach at Sherborne School. With the formation of Sherborne RFC in the early 1980s he was soon enlisted to help raise the standard of play at this burgeoning club and he coached a variety of sides within the Senior and Junior section on-and-off over a period of thirty years.[4]

Personal life

Davis died in May 2022, at the age of 80.[5]


  1. ^ "Mike Davis". ESPN.
  2. ^ Kitson, Robert (22 May 2022). "Mike Davis obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 May 2022.
  3. ^ "Sherborne Pilgrims Club Notes, 2002" (PDF). www.sherbornepilgrims.co.uk. 2002.
  4. ^ http://www.rfu.com/takingpart/coach/coachresourcearchive/technicaljournalarchive/~/media/files/2009/coaching/articles/technicaljournal/2006/1stquarter/chalkies20legacy.ashx[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Mike Davis". England Rugby. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
Preceded by
Peter Colston
English national rugby coach
Succeeded by