For News of Rugby follow our Corporate Hospitality Updates

Posts

England breeze past Fiji at Twickenham

England made it 11 consecutive victories under Eddie Jones as they swept aside Fiji 58-15 in the second game of the Old Mutual Wealth Autumn Internationals at Twickenham on Saturday.

After opening their autumn campaign with a convincing 37-21 victory over South Africa, Eddie Jones reshuffled his side for the arrival of Fiji, with the likes of Jonathan Joseph, Semesa Rokoduguni and Alex Goode all returning to the backline.

Lightning fast start seals the game for England

And it was Joseph who opened the scoring inside the first four minutes, after a powerful drive from the outstanding Mako Vunipola, the ball was moved wide to Owen Farrell and the centre’s perfectly timed pass sent Joseph through the gap and over in the corner.

Just minutes later England were in again, when George Ford’s gorgeous wide pass found Elliot Daly and the Wasps star turned on the after burners for his first international try.

In the 13th minute the hosts were in again – fine hands down the short side released Rokoduguni into space and the Fijian-born former soldier showed his finishing prowess to touchdown in the corner.

Within the next 10-minutes England killed the game-off with two well worked driving maul scores from Teimana Harrison and Joe Launchbury. In the process Owen Farrell also became just the second England player to pass 500 test match points and his side were 31-0 ahead.

However just before half-time the Pacific Islanders hit back with two scores. The first went to the giant winger Nemani Nadolo who exploited an overlap to score in the corner. Then it was the turn of superstar lock Leone Nakarawa who twisted and wriggled his way through the tackles to score.

England run in four second-half tries to seal win number two of in the Old Mutual Wealth Autumn Internationals

Fiji’s resurgence continued early in the second half as full-back Metuisela Talebula sliced through the English defence to score in the corner. But after that it was one way traffic once again.

In the 49th minute England surged into the Fijian 22, the ball was moved down the line and Mako Vunipola again showed great awareness as he sent Alex Goode over for his first try for England. Soon after Joseph added his second score intercepting a wild pass.

Rokoduguni scored his second international try, walking over in the corner after another fabulous George Ford pass. Launchbury completed his brace of scores finishing off a flowing move with forwards and backs interlinking well to send the Wasps lock over the line.

Job done for England, but bigger tests now await.

But Jones has admitted the performance on Saturday has given him some selection headaches, saying: “We have got great competition for places so it is going to be a couple of sleepless nights before we do selection. And we’ll name the side on Thursday this week – well, that is what we are aiming to do.”

Midlands Sportsman’s Luncheon welcomes England captain Dylan Hartley

Eventmasters are delighted to announce that England Rugby captain Dylan Hartley will join us as our guest of honour at the 27th Annual Midlands Sportsman’s LuncheonThursday 15th December 2016.

The fantastic event is one of the most popular rugby luncheons of the year, perfect for entertaining guests or enjoying a Christmas party with staff. The Midlands Sportsman’s Luncheon has a history of attracting the biggest names in English rugby and we are thrilled that Hartley will join that list during 2016.

Don’t miss out on the chance to enjoy this superb festive event with the England captain. Our Midland’s Sportsman’s Luncheon hospitality packages are available to buy online for tables for 8 or 10 guests – please follow the link provided to secure your seats.

Next England Head Coach Competition

As the RFU continue their search for the next England head coach, rugby fans up and down the country look ahead to the 2016 Six Nations Championships. We take a look at the four of the most prominent names in the betting market for the position.

As part of our Six Nations Twickenham hospitality promotion, if you can correctly name the next England head coach on the form provided below you will receive £100 per person discount on your online hospitality bookings for:

England v Ireland (Saturday 27th February 2016) and England v Wales (Saturday 12th March 2016).

Eddies Jones – 1/3 (Australian)

Previous International Experience: Head Coach Australia (2001-2005); Assistant South Africa (2007); Head Coach Japan (2012-2015)

Pros: The Australian is widely regarded as one of the most intelligent coaches in the game, guiding his native country to the 2001 Tri-Nations and the 2003 World Cup final. Was an assistant during South Africa’s World Cup triumph in 2007. Masterminded Japan’s best ever World Cup campaign in 2015 including a win over the Springboks. Huge experience and would bring an attractive brand of rugby to Twickenham.

What he’s said: “If England approached me, would I listen to them? It’s not the sort of job I’ll go out chasing, but I’d certainly chat to them if they thought I was the right man for the role.”

Cons: Has recently joined the Stormers in the Super Rugby competition and has also said that he isn’t interested in the job at this moment in time. Despite this his odds have tumbled over the weekend from 8/1 to 1/3, it seems somebody knows something we don’t?

Jake White – 7/2 (South African)

Previous International Experience: Head Coach South Africa (2004-2007)

Pros: Took over a South Africa side in turmoil after a dreadful World Cup campaign (sound familiar?) and transformed them into the world’s best side in three years. Introduced a raft of young players who became the core of the Springboks side for the next decade. A proven winner wherever he has been at either club or international level. Has openly expressed his interest in the job for a number of years.

What he’s said: “England have everything going for them in terms of resources, players and history.”

Cons: Many have criticised White’s pragmatic style, his teams traditionally play a forward orientated game built around set-piece dominance and territory. Like Eddie Jones he is currently tied into a contract with a club side. Having applied so many times before are the RFU likely to appoint him this time?

Nick Mallett – 10/1 (South African)

Previous International Experience: Head Coach South Africa (1997-2000); Head Coach Italy (2007-2011)

Pros: A coach of massive experience and pedigree. During his time in charge of South Africa he took the side on record breaking run of 17-straight test victories which included the 1998 Tri-Nations title. When at the helm of Italy he guided them to their first ever wins over Argentina and France. His teams play attractive running rugby and he backs his players to take care of business. A lively outsider for the job.

What he’s said: “I was keen for the challenge in 2011 but not anymore. I’m enjoying my current job.”

Cons: He has been out of the game for over four years and is basically semi-retired. Can he be tempted away from his TV work to take a job he has been turned down for in the past?

Rob Baxter – 18/1 (English)

Previous International Experience: N/A

Pros: Baxter has overseen one of the biggest transformations in club rugby with the Exeter Chiefs. Took charge of the Chiefs in 2009 and has turned them into one of the Premierships most dangerous and stylish sides. Has developed some the country’s best young talents such as Henry Slade, Jack Nowell and Dave Ewers. Worked with England on their tour of Argentina in 2013; seen by many as a future England coach.

What he’s said: “English coaches are best placed to work on the management of England’s best players through into an international environment and get the best out of them,”

Cons: The RFU have stated they want a coach with international experience something Baxter is sorely lacking. Will they really take a chance on somebody with such little experience at the highest level again?

Who do you think will lead England into the Six Nations? Is it one of the names mentioned above? Or is it somebody we may not have considered? Let us know and remember if guess correctly you will receive a £100 discount per person on your Six Nations Twickenham hospitality packages!

[contact-form-7 id=”8956″ title=”Competition”]

 

 

Twickenham Hospitality Packages – George Ford wins Player of the Year Award

Just hours after being named in England’s training squad for the 2015 World Cup, Bath fly-half George Ford was named the Aviva Premiership Player of the Season. England take on France and Ireland in the QBE Internationals at Twickenham and Eventmasters offer official Twickenham hospitality packages from our very own ‘Merits’ facility for rugby union encounters.

Ford has shone for both club and country this season and has established himself as England’s number one fly-half, holding off the challenges of Owen Farrell, Danny Cipriani and Stephen Myler. His ability to read defences and find space brought a real edge to England’s play in the RBS Six Nations, he finished the tournament as the top point’s scorer with 75. His connection with Jonathan Joseph in midfield sparked an attack which had looked pedestrian for far too long and those two will be huge factors in England’s success at 2015’s biggest event.

Ford has guided his Bath side to the Aviva Premiership play-offs for the first time since 2010, and the West Country giants looked primed to make a push for the title. His father and club coach Mike Ford was named Director of Rugby of the Season. While Wasps number eight Nathan Hughes picked up the Forward of the Season award, as his bulldozing performances helped Wasps to European Champions Cup qualification.

Henry Slade who also made it into Stuart Lancaster’s training squad picked up the Discovery of the Season award. The Exeter man has been tremendous this season and featured in every league game for the Chiefs, and he has a real chance to force his way into the final 31 man squad for the World Cup. As the end of the season approaches all eyes will begin to turn towards the QBE Internationals and the World Cup.

George Ford will be crucial to the success or failure of England in their home World Cup. If he continues to show the same level of maturity and ability then there is no doubt the hosts have a brilliant man to guide the ship.

Don’t miss any of the action with our fantastic Twickenham Hospitality Packages. For more information on our Twickenham hospitality packages, including Six Nations hospitality packages and QBE International packages at Twickenham please follow the links.

RBS 6 Nations: England Match-Day Squad Announcement

Stuart Lancaster has named his 23 man match-day squad ahead of Friday’s RBS 6 Nations opener against Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

This selection has been one of the most difficult during his tenure owing to the number of senior players being unavailable due to injury. Owen Farrell, David Wilson, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood and Ben Morgan were all ruled out before the 30 man training squad was announced.

The much talked about fly half position has been taken by George Ford with the return to international rugby for Danny Cipriani slightly delayed as he is set to start on what is an experienced replacements bench which includes call ups for Tom Croft, Tom Youngs, Mako Vunipola, Billy Twelvetrees and Nick Easter who’s last appearance was at the 2011 World Cup.

The forward pack, where England have been most effected by injuries, has been bolstered by the return of Tight Head Prop Dan Cole and the imposing Billy Vunipola. James Haskell is also due to start after showing impressive form with Wasps this season.

In the backs Lancaster seems to have moved away from the big crash ball centres he has selected previously and gone with Luther Burrell and Jonathon Joseph. This maybe to make the most of speedsters Anthony Watson and Jonny May.

Starting XV

15. Mike Brown (Harlequins, 33 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 4 caps)
13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 6 caps)
12. Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints, 7 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 11 caps)
10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 6 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 42 caps)

1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 26 caps)
2. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 61 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 45 caps)
4. David Attwood (Bath Rugby, 16 caps)
5. George Kruis (Saracens, 4 caps)
6. James Haskell (Wasps, 53 caps)
7. Chris Robshaw (captain, Harlequins, 32 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 12 caps)

Replacements

16. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 17 caps)
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 15 caps)
18. Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons, 6 caps)
19. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers, 38 caps)
20. Nick Easter (Harlequins, 47 caps)
21. Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens, 16 caps)
22. Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks, 9 caps)
23. Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 16 caps)

If you are looking for official VIP corporate hospitality for any of England’s Six Nations games at Twickenham please click here for details of our Merits Complex.

RBS 6 Nations: Wales v England Preview

Wales will be licking their lips viewing England’s injury ravaged preparations for the opening Six Nations fixture at the Millennium Stadium on Friday (February 6).

In front of a passionate crowd, they will be looking to take advantage and give England a jolly good spanking.

Sent back across the border tail between legs.

A bit of a lesson ahead of the sides clashing in the far more important World Cup this autumn.

Anything for an edge in the Group of Death.

But England are still confident of victory despite the squad’s massive injury crisis – virtually a whole team out.

So says recalled veteran Nick Easter.

It’s a huge call by the Harlequin.

Missing are big players Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt, Geoff Parling, Joe Launchbury, Ed Slater, Ben Morgan Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes.

Stuart Lancaster, the England head coach, will be bemoaning his luck.

Or will he?

Perversely it could mean many of his top selections are fresh when the World Cup comes round instead of tired and jaded after a long season.

The question is – have England got enough strength in depth to perform in both despite the casualties?

Easter noted: “The strength in depth in rugby in this country is fantastic.

“We’re equipped to deal with that. There are a number of guys who have been blooded by Stuart in the last three years, so they’re quite confident of these guys stepping up, which will have to be the case because of the injuries.”

Indeed, the prospect of a World Cup place is a massive incentive – if you can’t aspire to greatness when that challenge is put in your face then you shouldn’t be wearing the white jersey anyhow.

Somebody, maybe more than one, will come through to take the opportunity by the scruff of the neck.

Expect the forward battle to be ferocious.

But can England perform against a Welsh backline with so much flair.

Despite Farrell being out, England have the solid George Ford and the mercurial Danny Cipriani at fly half.

Ford is tough and determined; Cipriani has the sort of rare magic you hope won’t go to waste. Surely Lancaster will give him some time on the pitch. We need to find out whether he can be England’s Dan Carter.

England have any number of terrific wings but can they find a centre partnership that gels – defensive solidity but ability to make breaks.

You win games up front but it is with his centre choices that Lancaster will sink or swim. He needs to be brave.

Come what may England will certainly believe they can win, determined to go to Twickenham with Triple Crown chances intact.

Wales will be favourites but that might just take some pressure off England.

Given the circumstances, a very difficult outcome to call.

What’s your take on Cipriani – genius or flawed genius?