Gareth Chilcott

Gareth Chilcott England Lions Bath Rugby Cooch Coochie

Gareth Chilcott

Venatour Ambassador

Legendary former Bath, England, and British & Irish Lions prop Gareth “Cooch” Chilcott is our Chairman, having forged a career in sports travel after his playing days.

Cooch’s legendary rugby career began in Bristol when, aged 11, he was encouraged to join his local rugby club Old Redcliffians before he was spotted by Bath Rugby, making his senior debut aged 18. Chilcott would go on to wear the famous hoops 373 times in a career that spanned three decades, vice captaining the club for 10 years.

Featuring players such as Jon Hall, Stuart Barnes, Andy Robinson, and Jeremy Guscott, the South-West club dominated English rugby throughout the 1980s; however, it was Cooch’s performances for England that led to him cementing his status as a revered rugby icon. After making his debut in 1984 against Australia, the prop earned notoriety for his role in the “Battle of Cardiff”: an especially brutal Wales v England Five Nations encounter that led to him being suspended.

For a time thereafter he was labelled as being a dirty player, an unfair slur on someone who held all the game’s best traditions and values close to his heart. In 1989, Cooch was made a British & Irish Lion as part of the famous “brotherhood” that toured Australia. The party hammered their names into Lions lore by becoming the first and only squad to lose the first Test and win the series.

Cooch now divides his time between commentary, charity work, and creating unforgettable sports tours. As every Venatour client knows, when on tour with Cooch you will be treated to some of the finest rugby stories ever told!

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