John 'Bentos' Bentley

John 'Bentos' Bentley

  • Former British and Irish Lions
  • Excellent After Dinner Rugby Speaker
  • Former Dual-Code England International Rugby Player
John Bentley is a former dual-code England international rugby union and rugby league player who played in the 1980s and 1990s. Nicknamed 'Bentos', he played club rugby union as a wing for Otley, Sale, Newcastle and Rotherham. Internationally, he won 4 caps for England and toured with the British and Irish Lions in 1997, winning 2 test caps.

In rugby league, John played at club level for Leeds, Halifax (two spells), Balmain Tigers and Huddersfield Giants as a wing. He won 5 international caps for England, and 2 for Great Britain.

John was born in Dewsbury, West Riding of Yorkshire, England and is involved with Leeds Tykes community rugby programme and matchday entertainment. He is an Honorary President of the Yorkshire region of the rugby charity, Wooden Spoon, and coaches at rugby union camps across England with Sale Sharks, Newcastle Falcons and Leeds Carnegie.

John was originally a rugby union player, he made his England début against Ireland in 1988 aged 21 and played on the summer tour against Australia but switched codes to rugby league, where he became a professional. He played for Leeds, before moving on to Halifax, as well as enjoying a short spell in Australia with Balmain Tigers. He played for Great Britain, and for England in the 1995 Rugby League World Cup

Up until 1995, rugby union was an amateur sport so when it became openly professional in 1995, John returned to the code, signing for Newcastle Falcons in 1996. He made 3 appearances as they won their first and so far, only Premiership title in 1998.

John was selected for the 1997 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa, where he played in the second and third Tests. After the tour he played twice more for England at rugby union before switching back to rugby league with Huddersfield Giants.

John Bentley is an excellent after dinner speaker, very funny and personable, so if you would like to book John for your next event, please email or call 020 3500 3331.
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