Full name William John Skinner
Born February 8, 1984, Northampton
Current age 30 years 193 days
Major teams Barbarians, England A, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, England
Height 5 ft 11 in
Weight 213 lb
A flanker who beats the modern trend that all forwards have to be tall and very powerful, Skinner has followed in the footsteps of Neil Back who discounted the theory that big is best to be one of England's best.
The presence of Back at Leicester curtailed Skinner's opportunities though he made a sufficient impression to be young player of the season at the Tigers in 2004 even if he never commanded a first team place during a stay of four years, which gained him 34 appearances.
His professional career began to flourish when he joined Harlequins in 2006. Helped by the backing of Quins' former director of rugby Dean Richards, Skinner gained a reputation for being a competitive flanker and a captain who has the respect of his team-mates.
His success at the Stoop has gained him England honours at Saxons level, culminating in him leading the squad to success in the 2008 Churchill Cup. Skinner was born in Northampton and played for England at school and youth level when attending Bedford School. He went on to play for the Under-21 team and Sevens squad in the IRB world series in Brisbane (2003).