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banner Tuesday, 19 February, 2002, 13:40 GMT
Why I love.. Manchester City
England rugby star Will Greenwood talks to BBC Radio Five Live about his love for Manchester City and the disappointment at losing to Newcastle in the FA Cup.

England's rugby team were on top of the world on Saturday night, but 24 hours later Will Greenwood came crashing back down to earth.

All thoughts of the two tries he'd scored in the trouncing of Ireland at Twickenham were quickly erased by Nolberto Solano's goal for Newcastle against Greenwood's beloved Manchester City.

The Harlequins centre was in the commentary box for the FA Cup tie at St James Park and could not hide his disappointment at the result.

Will Greenwood
Greenwood scores for England against Ireland

"We did ourselves proud and it was just a shame to lose a man so early," he lamented (referring to the early sending off of Richard Dunne).

"There was a 20-25 minute spell in the second half when we really came out and played football.

"We didn't seem our normal, free-flowing selves in the first half, but Kevin must have said 'come on, you're down to 10 men, let's have a crack at it'. And they did.

"It was a great night, though, apart from the result. A few of my cousins came up and we had a couple of quiet beers afterwards. I was very bleary-eyed at training on Monday morning!"

City boss Kevin Keegan said he had no qualms with the sending off, but suggested the goal should have been disallowed for a push.


Greenwood, in true Arsene Wenger fashion, admitted he "didn't see it".

He explained: "I was concentrating on Nicky Weaver, who's about six foot four and 15 stone, and Nolberto Solano, who's about eight stone wet through.

"I thought when Nicky came he should have taken ball, man, everything - just cleaned up!"

Spoken like a true rugby man.

Greenwood has been a City fan since 1981, after watching Ricky Villa score that goal against the Blues to win the FA Cup for Tottenham.

But give him the choice of a City win or an England rugby victory and the oval ball nicks it, just.

"Ooh, that's a tough call, but rugby's my job. I love staying in the England team and I love winning.

Ricky Villa
Ricky Villa scores for Spurs against Man City in the 1981 FA Cup final

"Football's my hobby and I take great joy in being able to watch my favourite team."

But would he have swapped his two tries for a City win at St James Park?

"Without doubt, absolutely no question!

"I live in London now, playing for Harlequins, and all my old muckers are Arsenal fans from when I used to work in the city.

"Who did Newcastle pull out of the hat for the quarter-finals? Arsenal! I was absolutely gutted!"

Will Greenwood
"We had a couple of quiet beers afterwards"
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