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Fran Cotton
player portrait
Full name Francis Edward Cotton
Born January 3, 1947, Wigan
Current age 74 years 340 days
Major teams British and Irish Lions, England, England XV
Position Prop

Test career
Span Mat Start Sub Pts Tries Conv Pens Drop GfM Won Lost Draw %
All Tests 1971-1981 38 38 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 17 20 1 46.05
England 1971-1981 31 31 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 13 18 0 41.93
British and Irish Lions 1974-1977 7 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 2 1 64.28
Five/Six Nations 1971-1981 25 25 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 10 15 0 40.00

Career statistics
Test debut England v Scotland at Twickenham, Mar 20, 1971 match details
Last Test Wales v England at Cardiff, Jan 17, 1981 match details
Test Statsguru Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list

England and British and Irish Lions prop Fran Cotton was ahead of his time in terms of conditioning, and he became a legend in the white of England and the red of the Lions. Cotton's international debut came against Scotland in March 1971 and while he was too late to arrive on the international scene to warrant inclusion on the Lions' 1971 tour of New Zealand, he made his mark three years later in South Africa.

Cotton played in all four Tests of the Lions' famous win in South Africa, forming a powerful scrimmaging unit alongside Bobby Windsor and Ian McLauchlan. Cotton, at over six feet tall, was seen by some as too tall for the front-row but he was complemented perfectly by the compact and powerful McLauchlan.

Cotton's versatility was another key string to his bow, with his four caps in 1974 coming on the tighthead side and three against New Zealand in 1977 on the loosehead. In 1977 Cotton was also the subject of one of the sport's most famous pictures, his mud smeared face being captured as a reminder of the terrible weather conditions against the Junior All Blacks.

Cotton's association with the Lions looked to have ended in 1980 when he left the tour early due to a bout of viral pericarditis, originally mis-diagnosed as a heart-attack, but in 1997 he served as the tourist's team manager as they won the series in South Africa.

Following his retirement from playing Cotton set up rugby leisure company Cotton Traders alongside fellow England international Steve Smith.

Latest Articles
Cotton and Wheeler to spearhead legacy plans (Jan 4, 2013) A victory for tactical planning (Oct 30, 2012) Cotton: Summer season is nonsense (Dec 18, 2011) Report demands changes to set-piece laws (Oct 18, 2011) RFU launch player conduct investigation (Oct 13, 2011) Fran Cotton news and articles (18) »
Latest Photos
Jul 7, 1997
Fran Cotton, Jim Telfer and Ian McGeechan
Fran Cotton, Jim Telfer and Ian McGeechan
©  Getty Images
Jan 21, 1997
Jeremy Davidson, Neil Jenkins, Fran Cotton, Mark Regan and Rob Wainright
Jeremy Davidson, Neil Jenkins, Fran Cotton, Mark Regan and Rob Wainright
©  Getty Images
Jan 1, 1980
Lions prop forward Fran Cotton
Lions prop forward Fran Cotton
©  Getty Images
Jun 8, 1974
Fran Cotton looks to pounce on a loose ball
Fran Cotton looks to pounce on a loose ball
©  Getty Images
Fran Cotton rugby photos (6) »
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