Phil Clarke (born Sunday (1971-05-16) 16 May 1971 in Blackrod, Lancashire) is an English professional rugby league football commentator and former player of the 1980s, and 1990s. A Great Britain and England international representative back-rower or five-eighth, he played his club rugby league in England for Wigan (with whom he won five consecutive Challenge Cup Finals from 1990 to 1994), and in Australia for the Sydney Roosters.
Phil Clarke is the son of the Wigan and England nine of the 1960s, and 1970s, and Wigan coach of the 1980s, Colin Clarke.
During the 1991–92 Rugby Football League season, he played for defending champions Wigan at loose-forward in their 1991 World Club Challenge victory against the visiting Penrith Panthers. Clarke was selected to go on the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour of Australia and New Zealand. He played in the back-row in Great Britain's win over Australia in Melbourne. During the 1992–93 Rugby Football League season Clarke played at loose-forward for defending RFL champions Wigan in the 1992 World Club Challenge against the visiting Brisbane Broncos. After the 1993–94 Rugby Football League season Clarke travelled with defending champions Wigan to Brisbane, playing at loose-forward in their 1994 World Club Challenge victory over Australian premiers, the Brisbane Broncos.
Phil Clarke played loose forward/lock (replaced by Interchange/Substitute Sam Panapa on 9-minutes) in Wigan's 15-8 victory over Bradford Northern in the 1992–93 Regal Trophy Final during the 1992–93 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 23 January 1993, played loose forward/lock in the 2-33 defeat by Castleford in the 1993–94 Regal Trophy Final during the 1993–94 season at Elland Road, Leeds on Saturday 22 January 1994, and played loose forward/lock, and was man of the match in the 40-10 victory over Warrington in the 1994–95 Regal Trophy Final during the 1994–95 season at Alfred McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield on Saturday 28 January 1995,
Clarke represented England at the 1995 Rugby League World Cup. He became the first player to win England caps whilst at the Sydney City Roosters. Clarke was selected to play for England in the 1995 World Cup Final at second-row forward but Australia won the match and retained the Cup.
Clarke's playing career was cut short when he suffered a broken neck in his only season with Sydney. Although he made a full recovery, he was warned by doctors never to play rugby league again.
Clarke became a Sky Sports Rugby League pundit. He began working with Sky television in 1999 alongside Bill Arthur on Academy matches but nowadays he can be seen working with Eddie Hemmings and Mike "Stevo" Stephenson on Sky Sports Super League broadcasts and is respected for his in depth analysis of games and regularly "knocks sense" into colleague Mike Stephenson.
In March 2006 he quit his job as Great Britain team manager after five years, having become part of the GB set-up in 2001. His reasons for leaving were the "lack of leadership and direction" for the Great Britain team, and the lack of improvement in competitiveness against international opponents; adding that "Despite what's been said by the RFL and certain parts of the media, we're no closer now than we were 15 years ago."