A Midland lawyer is swapping the courtroom for the commentary box during the Rugby World Cup.
Richard Moon is no stranger to the rugby field though – he enjoyed a glittering career as scrum half for England, the Barbarians and Harlequins and sat on the governing body of the Rugby Football Union (RFU).
Mr Moon, who is originally from Walsall, told the Post he was relishing the prospect and felt his playing experience, combined with his skills in the legal sector, would prove a winning combination. He said: “I am a lawyer by trade and like to think I have the ability to ask the right questions and analyse things. Brian Moore and Kyran Bracken are both lawyers too.
“I’d like to think my skills in my profession help my analysis.”
The head of employment at Leamington solicitors Blythe Liggins is also a seasoned commentator, having already worked for both BBC 5 Live Sports Extra and BBC CWR.
He is set to commentate on the Italy vs Canada match on September 26 for the official Rugby World Cup Radio which will be going out on the official app and website, in stadia on radios, on Tunein Radio and to some international radio stations which cannot attend the matches.
Mr Moon was asked to play a part in the Rugby World Cup by his former Harlequins coach Dick Best, who now runs the Inside Rugby agency.
He said the commentary ball first got rolling for him in his rugby playing days, when he found himself dealing with the media as the captain of Premiership side Rosslyn Park.
“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to when I captained Rosslyn Park,” he said.
“When I was skipper we used to arrange press conferences and journalists would come and interrogate me.
“From that you obtain some confidence in your ability to answer questions and appreciate what a journalist wants in terms of analysis of rugby.
“You do TV interviews and like everything, you build up experience, though you never take anything for granted in terms of what you say or do.”
Mr Moon also particularly enjoys the medium of radio.
He added: “Radio for me is a fantastic medium to work in. You have to be so descriptive in terms of what you are watching and analysing.
“It’s also a fantastic medium for expressing your own personality.”
As to the Rugby World Cup, Mr Moon believes enthusiasm for the sport has never been higher, particularly in the Midlands in the wake of Wasps’ relocation to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
“I’m going to the Australia/Uruguay game at Villa Park and having two Rugby World Cup matches there is great for Birmingham and the Midlands as a whole.
“The whole passion for rugby has been cranked up another level.”
As to who might win the tournament, Mr Moon said there was no doubting New Zealand were the firm favourites, though he also believed Ireland have a chance of claiming glory.
“When it gets to the quarter-final stage it is a one-off game,” he said. “It is fascinating to see how finely balanced it all is. Every move, every play of every game could be a turning point and that is the beautiful thing about rugby.”