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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 06:54 GMT 07:54 UK
Moore the manicurist
Brian Moore in action for England during the 1993 season
Moore scored just one international try during his career

In the sixth of BBC Sport Online's weekly rugby union series, Brian Moore talks about pitbulls and his career as a manicurist.


Former England hooker Brian Moore was called a lot of things during his rugby days, but conventional was certainly never one of them.

He is a qualified solicitor, and has now returned to that vocation, but when he retired from rugby he opted for a very different career path, becoming a manicurist.

The intricacies of nail care may not immediately be what you associate with the tough guy image of your average front row, but Moore never was one for the expected.

As far as he is concerned, it was an entirely logical move.

Brian Moore's shirt is ripped as he plays for England
Moore was always in the thick of the action

"My wife opened a nail bar and in order to assist I decided I'd get qualified, which I did," he explains. "Then sometimes I helped out in the shop and sometimes I didn't."

Another peculiarity of Moore's was playing with the collar on his jersey tucked in.

The man himself, however, has no idea why or how the ritual began.

"There was never a reason why I played with my jersey collar turned in," he concludes.

"I can't remember when I started doing it either now. It was just something that happened.

"I think it may have been because I was from up north and it was like a rugby league jersey then."

'Pitbull' Moore belongs to the band of rugby players who are almost as well-known by their nicknames as by their given names, but the true origins of the hooker's pseudonym are somewhat unclear.

"My nickname came from Wade Dooley, the Blackpool policeman (and former England lock)," he recalls. "I don't know why he came up with it particularly.

"Some said it was a remarkable resemblance to the horrible beasts. Others said it was because of an attitude of never wanting to let go of something once you'd got hold of it.

"But it was probably a combination of both really."

  Brian Moore
Position: Hooker
England caps: 64
Lions caps: 6
Born: 11 January 1962
Place of birth: Birmingham
International debut: 4 April 1987 v Scotland
Last Test: 22 June 1995 v France

Several of Moore's team-mates in England's Grand Slam-winning squad of the early 1990s have since turned to coaching, with varying degrees of success.

It was something that never tempted Birmingham-born Moore.

"I never really fancied trying coaching. I don't have time.

"Too many other interests, and doing bits of co-commentary for the BBC keeps me involved anyway.

A player who never shied away from anything on the pitch, Moore behind the microphone is no different.

"I call it as it is in my commentary. I think that's what people like.

"Whether or not it's the best way to go, it's my way, and actually it's quite simple.

"If people don't like it and the BBC don't like it then they don't have to employ me."

For most rugby fans, however, his frankness is simply a breath of fresh air.


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