William Carling OBE (born December 12 1965) is the former England Rugby player, and captain from 1988 to 1996. He is often known in rugby union circles as 'bum face', a reference to his cleft chin.
He was the youngest ever captain of England and was at the time the most successful ever, seeing them to back-to-back Five Nations grand slam victories (1991, 1992), and the final of the 1991 World Cup. He also led them to a 1995 Grand Slam, a feat that was not to be repeated by another England team until 2003.
Carling's England team were often criticised as boring because they did not score many tries and often relied upon their forwards rather take risks by giving the ball to the backs. Perhaps it was sensitivity about this that caused a famous reversal of tactics in the 1991 World Cup final, when England suddenly played an expansive game that possibly contributed to their defeat by Australia.
Despite this, under Carling England started to challenge and beat the established rugby union powers such as New Zealand and Australia, and their success helped to make rugby union a more popular sport in England.
Carling famously described the Rugby Football Union Committee as "57 old farts" which saw him sacked. He was however quickly reinstated after a public apology and was able to go to the 1995 World Cup.
Prior to her death, he was romantically linked by some members of the press with Diana, Princess of Wales.