Richard Birkett was a fixture in Wasps first XV during the 2004/2005 season and has firmly entrenched himself in Wasps engine room during the past few seasons taking part in many of the club's most famous victories, including his personal favourite moment: the 2005 Zurich Premiership Final triumph over Leicester.
However, if not for the fact that he had a lot of friends at Richmond while he was growing up, Birkett may have dropped rugby in favour of basketball long ago. At age 15, he was already playing for the U19 side at Crystal Palace in the National League and was playing far less rugby than basketball. However, he continued playing rugby as well and when the time came to choose between the two sports at age 17, Birkett chose rugby because he wanted to go where his friends were.
During a year at Millfield, he started playing rugby every day and earned a spot with the England U18 squad. Though he didn't have the chance to play much, Geoff Strange spotted him and Wasps gave him an apprenticeship contract in 1998. He then worked his way through the club before becoming a regular with the first XV a few seasons later.
In spite of his rugby and basketball background, the first club that Birkett ever supported was Tottenham. His favourite athletes, however, were a basketball player and a golfer: Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods.
But who has had the greatest direct influence on his career? According to Birkett, it's none other than Wasps teammate, Jonny Barrett. Although, it must be said that if Barrett had not been sitting next to him when he answered the question, he may have answered differently.
Off the pitch, Birkett enjoys reading, socializing, and dancing. If he weren't playing professional rugby he claims that he would like to be a model, but if he achieved his great aspiration of winning the lottery, he would have enough money that a modelling career wouldn't be necessary.
Click the squad picture and the action pictures on the left to zoom them.
|Weight:||110kgs / 17st 5lbs|
|Height:||198cm / 6ft 6ins|
|Date of Birth:||01/10/1979|
|Place of Birth:||Roehampton|
|Representative Honours:||England A, England U18, England U21|
|Debut Match:||London Irish 10/10/1999|
|Heroes:||Zinzan Brooke, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods|
|Describe Yourself:||Enthusiastic, committed, versatile|
|Richard's Club Stats:||This Season||Club Total|