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Phil_Cantillon

Phil Cantillon

Phil Cantillon signed professionally for his home town club Wigan Rugby League Football Club in 1992 and captained Great Britain Academy on the 1994 Australia Tour and in 1995, whilst appearing for the first team in the annual Wigan Sevens in 1994. The Wigan side contained a host a international stars including hookers Martin Dermott and Martin Hall , which restricted his first team opportunities.

In the 1995 Centenary season, Phil Larder (Great Britain coach) signed Cantillon for the then successful Keighley Cougars. Cantillon made his first team debut in 1995 against Wakefield scoring a hat-trick of tries and featuring in every games during the season. Cantillon was selected for full England Honours in 1996 featuring in the inaugural Super League World Nines competition in Fiji, which lost to Australia in the semi finals stage at the age of 19 .

Cantillon enjoyed a further 2 seasons at Keighley Cougars making his name as a free scoring hooker making over 75 appearances and scoring 30 tries. In 1997 Cantillon joined Leeds Rhinos and made his Super League debut against his home town club scoring a try and played all the remaining matches in the first team under Dean Bell in 97. After a frustrating 1998 season at Leeds Rhinos, Widnes Vikings snapped Cantillon up in 1999 which was the start of a record breaking spell with the Vikings.

Cantillon soon became a cult figure and fans favourite at the Halton Stadium and appeared over 152 consecutive appearances for the club . Cantillon first broke the try scoring tries in a match feat V Oldham in 1999 with 5 Tries. In 2000 the quick fire hooker broke the world record for number of tries scored in a season by a hooker with 30 and further equaled the number of tries scored in match again with 5 .2001 season was a season to remember with Widnes earning promotion to Super League by defeating Oldham in the NFP Grand Final with Cantillon taking the Man of the Match Award , and demolished the number of tries in a match record with 7 in a single match V York and also surpassed the legendary Ellery Hanley's world record for tries in a season by a Rugby League forward with 48 , all records still currently stand today. Cantillon scored over a centenary of tries for the Vikings and is placed in the all time top ten scoring charts for Widnes with other legendary figures.

2002 and 2003 seasons were enjoyed in the top flight in Super League with Widnes , with Cantillon becoming a thorn in many Super Leagae sides , this led to his selection in the England R.L Squad for the Super League World Sevens Tournament in Australia , consisting of a match winning performance in the semi final stages to set up a close defeat by Parammatta Eels in the Final.

After disappointing contract neogations ,Cantillon reluctantly left the Vikings and joined Halifax who had just been relegated from Super league in 2004 and were in the process of building a strong side for automatic promotion. Cantillon also was employed as Halifax Rugby League's Development Officer.

Cantillon was named captain of the Ireland Rugby League team in 2004 whom he qualifed for under the grandparent ruling after firstly representing England .Ireland R.L enjoyed an outstanding European Nations tournament finally losing to France in Dublin, with firstly an away win versus Scotland in which Cantillon scored his first try for Ireland.

Cantillon appeared 27 times for Halifax ,scoring 15 tries in a side that failed to gain promotion as expected ,Cantillon signed for Rochdale Hornets as a senior player in 2005 under player coach Bobby Goulding .

Cantillon again captained Ireland R.L to the European Nations Final after breaking the international record for number of tries in a game with 4 in a semi final 36 - 18 win over Scotland .Ireland eventually lost to England in the final staged at Warrington.with Ireland producing a strong performance against an England side packed full of emerging Super League Internationals

Cantillon enjoyed 2 successfully seasons at Rochdale Hornets who made play off positions in both seasons , appearing almost 60 times and scoring 25 tries in the process .

Cantillon captained Ireland to impressive World Cup qualifying wins against Russia and Lebanon, ensuring they booked their place for the 2008 World Cup in Australia , signing of his performances by holding the record for number of tries scored by any player for Ireland R.L with 9 , and taking them to be ranked 2nd best team in Europe

Cantillon took up an assistant coaches role at Blackpool Panthers in 2007 making 30 appearance and scoring 16 tries in a struggling side ,before eventually retiring at the end of 2007.

Cantillon made almost 400 first team appearances in a 16 years professional career ,scoring 200 tries. Cantillon represented Great Britain Academy, England R.L and captained Ireland R.L during his career and still holds the world record for most tries in a match (7) and most tries in a season (48) by a Rugby League forward in domestic Rugby League.

Whilst internationally records still stand for most tries in a match for Ireland R.L with 4 and highest number of tries for Ireland R.L with 9.

He has played internationally for both England and Ireland

He holds the world record for most tries in a season and a match for a forward.

He has also modeled clothing for an Aldi Catalogue published in 2005

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