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Twickenham Hospitality – Burgess returns to Rugby League

Sam Burgess the high-profile Rugby League convert has returned to the NRL in Australia after just one year with Bath in Rugby Union. Burgess produced a powerful display in England Rugby’s opening QBE International against France at Twickenham, where Eventmasters guests enjoyed outstanding Twickenham hospitality at the Merits complex.

Speculation has been rife for weeks that a return to rugby league with the South Sydney Rabbitohs was imminent for the 26-year-old and yesterday Bath confirmed he had left the club with immediate effect. Despite reports emerging that he had decided to stay in England.

Burgess joined the Aviva Premiership side last October to high expectations after his exploits in the other code. In his final appearance for the Rabbitohs he helped the club win the NRL Grand Final despite fracturing his cheekbone inside the first 10 seconds of the game.

Many expected him to bring his unique brand of physicality, power and ball playing ability to an already star-studded Bath team. After a slow start to his career at centre he was moved to the back-row and produced some fantastic displays particularly in the Aviva Premiership.

He was a shock inclusion in England’s squad for 2015 World Cup at the expense of more experienced players such as Luther Burrell. Many pundits felt he was unready for the biggest tournament in world rugby, but he impressed the coaching staff in training with his leadership skills.

Despite his relative lack of experience he was given a spot on the bench for the opening game against Fiji, he made a huge impact when he replaced Jonathan Joseph. Injuries meant he was handed a starting spot for the game against Wales.

His primary role in that game was to get England across the gain line and shackle the experienced Jamie Roberts, both jobs were performed admirably and it is widely regarded as his best game in the sport.

With England leading he was substituted with 11 minutes remaining and we all know what happened after that. England lost the game and were staring down the barrel of an early exit from their own World Cup.

Subsequently he was dropped to the bench for the Australia match before being left out of the 23-man squad for the final game against Uruguay. Many feel that Burgess was unfairly treated by the media and made a scapegoat for England’s early exit.

VIP Twickenham Six Nations hospitality guests will be hoping to see England bounce back from this early exit when they take on Ireland on Saturday 27th February and Wales on Saturday 12th March in the 2016 Six Nations.

On his return to Bath, Burgess was given time-off as Head Coach Mike Ford who said he “wasn’t quite right”. Ever since then it has been rumoured that he would return to Australia, now that has been confirmed.

It is hard to summarise Burgess’s time in rugby union. Some feel it was circus from start to finish which distracted a whole squad trying to win a World Cup. Others feel he was a player of immense potential thrust into an impossible situation whilst playing out of position.

It was unrealistic to expect him to walk into a brand new sport and become an accomplished player overnight. There is no doubt that in his games at flanker he showed what he is all about and why he was such a star in the NRL. But to then push him back into the midfield was an unforgiveable error by the coaching staff of England.

With the raft of unfair media criticism that followed, it is only natural for the player to look back towards the sport where he was named the world’s best player in 2014.

It would be extremely unfair to blame the player and say he has ‘quit’ when the going got tough. Looking at the situation objectively this was the only outcome after all that went before. He is in the prime of his career and could either stay with Bath; continue to have every tackle, pass and run intensely scrutinised.

Or return the NRL win more titles with Souths and be the leader of a rapidly improving England side ahead of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. The chance to play with his two brothers and be close to his family had to be a major influence in his decision.

Ultimately Burgess has made the choice he feels is right.

We now look forward to the 6 Nations, where Eventmasters will once again be providing outstanding Twickenham hospitality packages for the two fixtures against Ireland and Wales.

For more information and to purchase your Twickenham Hospitality packages for the Six Nations please follow the links.

Martin Johnson to open new stand at Birmingham’s Premier Rugby Club

The new stand at Moseley Rugby Club will be officially opened by England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson, ahead of the British & Irish Cup fixture against Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday 14th November.

Eventmasters have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Birmingham’s premier rugby club and have again agreed to be one of the Clubs main sponsors with the company logo appearing on the first team shorts. Eventmasters Managing Director Denise Sheasby said “we have a well-established history of providing corporate hospitality packages at rugby union Internationals and in particular at Twickenham as part of our direct appointment by the Rugby Football Union. It is therefore a perfect fit for us to sponsor and support Moseley Rugby Club; the new stand is a testimony to the progress that the Club has made in recent times.”

The state-of-the-art £3.6m stand recently scooped the prestigious BMW-Sponsored National Rugby Award for Club Development of the Year and to mark this fantastic occasion adult ground entry for the Ealing fixture will be just £5.

Moseley-Stand

Solihull born “local boy” Johnson is without doubt one of the best players to ever play for England. In his 10 year international career he won 84 caps and signed off with a win in the 2003 Rugby World Cup final against Australia; the only northern hemisphere captain to lift The Webb Ellis Trophy.

He is also the only player in the history of the game to captain The British and Irish Lions on two tours in 1997 and 2001. In 1997 he led the side to a famous series win over the world champion South Africa side. It is a real honour that Martin has agreed to open Moseley’s stand.

‘Johnno’ will officially open the new 700 seater stand and welcome VIP guests to the outstanding hospitality facility – The Reddings Suite a high quality area with spectacular views across the pitch that can seat up to 350 guests.

Pre and post-match hospitality packages are available within The Reddings Suite for just £49 per person including lunch for the Ealing game on Saturday 14th November. The package also includes reserved grandstand seating, exclusive bar facilities and that tremendous full view of the playing area.

Here’s hoping the new stand can get the perfect opening with a Moseley win!

Eventmasters Limited Birmingham Head office 0121 233 6500

RBS 6 Nations hospitality – email elliot@eventmasters.co.uk

Twickenham Hospitality – Burgess to stay in Rugby Union?

Bath coach Mike Ford has revealed that he believes England Rugby centre Sam Burgess will stay in rugby union, amid speculation he was set to return to rugby league in Australia. Burgess was one of the stars of the summer QBE Internationals against France and Ireland where Eventmasters guests enjoyed outstanding Twickenham hospitality.

VIP guests enjoying Eventmasters Twickenham hospitality packages will be hoping the immensely talented Burgess stays in rugby union and can show his qualities against Ireland on Saturday 27th February and Wales on Saturday 12th March in the 2016 Six Nations.

The 26-year-old was given time off after England’s World Cup exit, fuelling rumours that he was on the verge of returning to his former side, South Sydney Rabbitohs in Australia’s NRL competition.

Indeed Brad Walter of the Sydney Morning Herald told BBC Radio 5 live: “Moves are well advanced for a return to the Rabbitohs. The only obstacle standing in the way now is Mike Ford, who wants him to remain in rugby union and is reluctant to release him but the expectation is that will be resolved within days.”

Burgess was a surprise inclusion at centre in England Rugby’s squad for the 2015 World Cup; despite his best performances for Bath coming at flanker. In the opening match against Fiji he made a superb impact off the bench and was handed a starting role against Wales.

In that now famous loss, Burgess shackled the experienced Jamie Roberts and produced a polished performance. With England leading he was substituted with 11 minutes remaining and we all know what happened after that.

Subsequently he was dropped to the bench for the Australia match before being left out of the 23-man squad for the final game against Uruguay. Many feel that Burgess was unfairly treated by the media and made a scapegoat for England’s early exit.

But Ford told BBC Radio 5 live, “I’ve spoken to Sam many times and we’ve spoken about coming back to Bath, rolling his sleeves up and playing [at number] six for us.

“Everything we have spoken about has been about his future and playing well for Bath and potentially getting him to play for England in the Six Nations – or, if not, at the end of the season on tour to Australia.”

English rugby will not want to lose a player of Burgess’s quality.

For more information on our Twickenham hospitality packages including or Six Nations hospitality packages please follow the links.

Twickenham Hospitality – Where did it all go wrong for England? – Playing Style

In the third blog looking at what went wrong as England Rugby became the first host nation to not make the knock-out stages of their own World Cup, we look at how the style of play changed. England have a chance to bounceback from this bitter disappointment when they take on Ireland and Wales in the 2016 6 Nations Championship. Our superb range of Twickenham hospitality packages are available for these crucial matches which could shape the future of English rugby.

Playing Style

That England can play an expansive style of running rugby is not in doubt … so why didn’t they in the World Cup?

Proof of the pudding came in the Six Nations when it went to the wire – all on points differential as to which of Ireland, England and Wales would be champions. England had no choice but to throw it about. And throw it about they did.

In the end England fell one try short of a first title in four years as they out-ran France in a sensational 12-try contest 55-35.  They attacked relentlessly in a thrilling match and so nearly pulled off a remarkable win. An unforgetabble contest for guests enjoying the very best Twickenham hospitality packages.

A brace of tries apiece from Ben Youngs and Jack Nowell plus scores from Anthony Watson, George Ford and Billy Vunipola saw them pile up their highest ever total against France. But while the win put them level on points with Ireland and Wales, their inferior points difference meant they fell just short.

Jonathan Joseph’s brilliance lit the stadium up. Fantasy rugby. The crowd was spellbound. That back line was Brown, Watson, Joseph, Burrell, Nowell, and Ford.

Yet when it came to the World Cup there was no Burrell and no Nowell. Both discarded. The former dropped from the squad; the latter in the squad but never even making the bench.

Instead Lancaster pinned his hopes on the one dimensional hard tackling defensive duo of Barritt and Burgess, with the equally dour Farrell ousting Ford from the fly half position at the eleventh hour.

It was disastrous decision-making. Compounded by the fact that there was an alternative – putting faith in the exciting Henry Slade and Danny Cipriani.

These were the two stars of the QBE internationals against France. Slade and Cipriani have the ability to create space and make breaks. Individuals who can open up a side by producing something different.

Cipriani never made the squad; Slade made the squad but never made the bench.

So what was the point in them playing in the warm-up games if Lancaster had no intention of putting them on the park? He clearly didn’t trust them.

It was as if the head coach completely lost his nerve. A rigid game plan had no room for individuality or risk-taking.

“They consistently turned their back on the x-factor players,” claimed the Rugby Paper.

By throwing out of the window that template of running rugby which made England top try scorers in the Six Nations, Lancaster flipped. Or, as the Rugby Paper put it: “It saw Lancaster and company revert against Wales to a percentage mentality of playing to stop the other side winning through pressure and kicking penalties, rather than England going out to win it through their own attacking ability.”

There were other very strange attitudes. Lancaster seemed mesmerised by Burgess, the hard man of rugby league.

Burgess was totally exposed by his coach; he has no idea how to play centre. Even Bath, his club, think he is a flanker. And worse Lancaster played his favourites out of position.

Brad Barritt and Sam Burgess had never been partnered together before they took the field against Wales. To accommodate Burgess, Barritt was required to vacate his regular slot.

In the second half against Australia you had a fly half Owen Farrell at centre and a centre Joseph on the wing. Lancaster was simply out of his depth.

You can’t win a World Cup without a great set of forwards but you also need a fly half and centres who can dazzle. Ultimately England had neither.

Brought low by hopeless selection and tactical naivety. We have the players; they just weren’t on the pitch.

What a waste.

Can England gain revenge on Wales for their agonising defeat in the World Cup? You can see all the action in VIP style with our Six Nations hospitality packages at Twickenham. Our Twickenham hospitality packages offer you the ultimate experience at the world’s best Test Match arena.

Please see our Twickenham hospitality page for more information.

Where did it all go wrong for England? – Set Piece

In the second part of our blogs exploring England Rugby’s early exit from their own World Cup, we look at what went wrong with their set-piece. Over the course of three matches the home side were unable to dominate at these key areas and it cost them dearly. England have a chance to bounce back from this bitter disappointment when they take on Ireland and Wales in the 2016 6 Nations Championship. Our superb range of Twickenham hospitality packages are available for these crucial matches which could shape the future of English rugby.

Scrum and Line-Out Problems

Just as with the three quarters the England coaches never seemed sure what was their best pack. They were chopping and changing personnel far too late in the day ahead of the World Cup kick off.

Blame selection.

But also question how many of the forwards were fully match fit. Ben Morgan at No. 8 was a huge gamble after being out for so long with a bad injury.

At second row Joe Launchbury had been on the side-lines for six months, only returning in May. Geoff Parling’s Test career has been badly affected by a succession of setbacks since he toured with the Lions in 2013.

Parling and Launchbury performed heroics in the circumstances against Wales and Australia, but Morgan wasn’t himself. The first rule of all sport is – don’t play anyone who is not 100 per cent.

Partly because of the injury issues England went into the QBE internationals against France and Ireland still pondering their best line-up, further exacerbated by the defeat in Paris. The lineout was creaking.

Tom Youngs perhaps unfairly got much of the blame – but neither he nor Rob Webber have ever fully convinced at hooker. Dylan Hartley was rightly not considered for disciplinary reasons.

The pundits had reckoned that Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury would start the World Cup at lock. But head coach Stuart Lancaster decided to change it, arguably the first signs of panic. He brought back Parling for his ability to run the lineout and stuck Launchbury on the bench.

In the end the line-out went reasonably well when it came to the crunch. After all, they disrupted loads of Welsh ball.

Until of course that call three minutes from the end of the match when England were unceremoniously shoved into touch after a disastrous throw to No.2.

The Welsh had done their homework with coach Warren Gatland declaring: “They’d caught us out in the past throwing to the front of the line-out and we expected that.

“Those are decisions you make sometimes and you go there and you get a driven line-out and you win the game and you’re a hero, you make the wrong call and you’re zero.”

Poor Chris Robshaw. He will never be able to escape that moment.

Yet it was the back row, as many suspected, which proved the disaster zone.

England arguably went into their two most important matches in four years with two blind sides in Robshaw and Tom Wood plus a not fully match fit Ben Morgan.

Lancaster hamstrung himself by sticking by Robshaw. Hard-working, committed, proud, but no open side.

He should have bitten the bullet – either dropped Robshaw or switched him to blind in place of Wood in order to produce a balanced backrow.

So we get to the second rule of sport – pick people in their right positions.

You could have switched Lawes from second row to open side which would have allowed the useful Launchbury-Parling partnership to prosper. Many would say Lawes is best on the flank.

But of course what Lancaster should have done was insist that Steffon Armitage, exiled in France, one of the best turnover specialists in the world, was brought back into the fold. He didn’t and his goose was cooked.

Hooper and Pocock destroyed England.

By the end they had helped Australia achieve nine turnovers, and even Lancaster was big enough to acknowledge it. “Pocock was outstanding,” said Lancaster. “Every time we threatened their line there was a turnover that he was involved in.”

Even in the tight, where England expected to bully Wales and Australia, it didn’t go all their own way.

The performance against the Welsh was impressive. In contrast the Australians, routinely smashed by the England pack, made mugs of them.

How did the Aussies do it? They hired legendary Argentine Mario Ledesma as forwards coach and he transformed them, particularly the front row.

Joe Marler was pinged for not pushing straight, Dan Cole couldn’t make any headway.

Unable to dominate, England lost direction. The strategy was built on England winning up front and there was no Plan B because Lancaster had gone safety first with a defensive fly half and centres.

England were out of their own World Cup.

Twickenham hospitality guests will be hoping the side can turn their fortunes around in the Six Nations. But will Stuart Lancaster be in charge by then?

Where did it all go wrong for England? – Selection

Saturday night saw England Rugby plunge to a new depth as they became the first host nation not to make it out of the group stages of their own World Cup. The team have a chance to get back on the track in the 2016 Six Nations when they take on Wales and Ireland at Twickenham, where Eventmasters are proud to provide Twickenham hospitality.

Admittedly no team has ever faced a group as tough as England’s, but after talking up the advantage of playing at Twickenham we all expected more from this team and the coaches.

Over the next four days we will look at some key areas where England were found wanting and how those problems can be avoided in the future.

Selection Issues

Sir Clive Woodward once said that coaching is “90% selection” i.e. get the right players on the field and the rest becomes a lot easier. In this regard Stuart Lancaster and his coaching team got it very wrong over the last six weeks.

During the 2015 Six Nations there seemed to be a clear plan in terms of style and selection. That all went out of the window during the QBE Internationals and Lancaster didn’t even know his best XV for the two of the biggest matches in the countries sporting history.

A prime example was the centre combination for the Wales game, Sam Burgess and Brad Barritt had never started a game together. But Lancaster was convinced they were the right men for the job. They were the 14th midfield combination of Stuart Lancaster’s regime and against Australia, he fielded the 18th combination of fly-half and centres in just four years.

Burgess the high-profile rugby league convert, is going to be a huge player for Bath and England in the future. But he is not an international centre, his best rugby has come on the flank. Lancaster and co. shoehorned him into midfield where he isn’t as affective. If he wasn’t ready to play in the pack he shouldn’t have been selected. This glaring error made an explosive and powerful rugby star look second rate.

George Ford, the driving force behind England’s expansive style in 2015 which saw them score 18 tries in the Six Nations, was moved to the bench in favour of Owen Farrell. England’s style of play instantly regressed. Brad Barritt carried for just four metres against Wales in 80 minutes but was deemed too important to drop, meanwhile the impressive Henry Slade was sitting in the stands twiddling his thumbs.

In the forwards Lancaster backed himself into a corner by ruling Dylan Hartley out due to disciplinary issues. This one move changed the whole dynamic and balance of the side.

Hartley is by far the best hooker in the country, his power at the scrum and precision at the line-out make him invaluable to this squad. With him out the pressure was ramped up on Tom Youngs to reach those same levels. There is no doubt Youngs is a fine player around the field and gives his all but at the set-piece he isn’t at the same level of his Northampton counterpart.

During the QBE Internationals, Hartley provided expert analysis at our rugby hospitality facility for the France and Ireland games. While he understood the coaches selection stance, he stated he was fit and ready for a call-up. But unfortunately for England fans that never came.

In the second QBE International in Paris, England were shambolic at the scrum and line-out. As a result the outstanding Joe Launchbury was dropped to the bench to accommodate Geoff Parling. Straight away England lost a world class performer who offers so much and is a key part of the side. This in turn put added pressure on Courtney Lawes to perform the Launchbury role and act as an extra flanker.

Then there is the Steffon Armitage debate. The three-time European champion and former European Player of the Year was not considered for selection under the RFU policy of not selecting players from overseas.

The performance of Michael Hooper and David Pocock just highlighted what nearly every fan and pundit believed for three years, England cannot compete without a genuine open-side flanker. The ‘Pooper’ combination made a mockery of England’s breakdown play, stealing ball at will and constantly slowing down the England attacks.

Now while Australia are in a unique situation having two of the world’s best number sevens, the coaching team seemingly made no plan to stop them or refused to select players who could disrupt in the same way. Not picking Armitage, European rugby’s most consistent player, will be a decision that will haunt Lancaster for a long time.

Coaching is 90% selection, but England got it 100% wrong.

Twickenham Hospitality – England make early exit

With England Rugby making an early exit from their home World Cup, we look back at the Australia game before starting our series on where it all went wrong for the host nation. England have the chance to write the wrongs in-front of the 2016 Six Nations hospitality guests when they take on Wales and Ireland at Twickenham. Don’t miss out on our official Twickenham hospitality for these two huge encounters.

You sadly have to admit that England were dreadful. To be thrashed by Australia and dumped out of our own World Cup was just so depressing. But England deserved nothing better because they never came to play in this tournament.

The philosophy was negative from the start – defence paramount, capitalise on opposition mistakes, look to brawn and not brains.

As this column said from the outset, that is an abject way to go into a competition which is the pinnacle of the game. 13-33 did not flatter the Australians. They were by far the better side.

Pocock and Hooper dominated the England back row, attacking three quarters shredded England and the home side was even beaten up front. It didn’t have to be this way.

I feel sorry for the talented players who were never even picked for the squad because England coach Stuart Lancaster didn’t have the courage to play expansive rugby.

No Danny Cipriani at fly half. A gifted individual who has X-factor; someone who can conjure things out of nothing.

Why not play Kyle Eastmond, Billy Twelvetrees, Luther Burrell, Henry Slade or Jack Nowell at centre alongside Jonathan Joseph? They can make things happen.

Instead we had the one dimensional Brad Barritt and Sam Burgess.

Burgess was an embarrassment – he should never have been there. A rugby league convert just months into his union career and not even deemed a centre by Bath who play him as a wing forward. He did not deserve his fate. Blame terrible selection.

Plus Steffon Armitage, presumably watching on television, denied to Lancaster because stupid England won’t pick those plying their trade overseas, France in Armitage’s case.

The reality is that Lancaster bottled it while ‘leader’ Chris Robshaw, a hard worker who tried his best within his limited capabilities, is surely not worth his place, never mind being captain.

The England three quarter line in the second half said it all – the dropped George Ford brought back at fly half, fly half Owen Farrell switched to centre and centre Joseph on the wing. What a shambles! Smacked of desperation and panic.

The lesson to learn is this – you can’t win a World Cup without flair. Players get one shot at it every four years and this one was lost before anyone put a foot on the park. Cipriani will be 31 when it next comes round; this should have been his hour of greatness.

There was no lack of effort but effort is not enough at such an exalted level. The spoils go to the brave, the risk takers, those who set out to thrill.

For more information on our superb Twickenham hospitality including Six Nations hospitality please click here.

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.

Twickenham Hospitality Packages – Rugby Round Up

With just two rounds of the Aviva Premiership to go and the European Finals coming up this weekend, time is running out for players to put their hands up to be part of England’s squad for the QBE Internationals and the 2015 World Cup.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster and his coaches were sweating on Saturday afternoon as it was revealed Joe Marler will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury. Marler has been a key player for England over the past 18 months, producing several big performances in front of the Twickenham crowd where Eventmasters guests can enjoy the premium Twickenham hospitality packages inside The Merits Hospitality Complex.

Harlequins have said that the injury may need minor surgery, but that it shouldn’t rule him out of the World Cup. On Friday night Sam Burgess produced his most complete performance for Bath since his big-money move from Australian rugby league side the South Sydney Rabbitohs. The 26-year-old was initially deployed as a centre when he arrived in the West Country but struggled to influence games.

In recent weeks he has been moved to blindside flanker and is showing why Bath spent so much money to bring him to rugby union. His bulldozing style and phenomenally high work-rate are tailor made for the forwards. He showed good composure to score from a powerful rolling maul as well as topping the carrying and tackle count against London Irish. He created havoc as a decoy runner in the attacking line, but also made valuable metres when given the ball. If his progression continues on this trajectory it will be difficult for Stuart Lancaster to ignore Burgess when it comes to the World Cup.

Having somebody with that size and skill set could be a trump card for England, much like Sonny Bill Williams was for New Zealand in 2011. Steffon Armitage has yet another chance to showcase his talents on the big stage when Toulon clash with Clermont in Saturdays European Champions Cup Final at Twickenham. The reigning European Player of the Year is enjoying another stellar season with the French giants and calls for him to be included in the squad for the World Cup are louder than ever.

There is no doubting Armitage would bring real dynamism to the back-row and would also be a genuine ‘fetcher’ at the breakdown. Another star performance on Saturday would increase the pressure on Stuart Lancaster to select the 29-year-old, but he has stayed strong on the RFU policy of not selecting players playing outside of England. Another Englishman impressing on the other side of the Channel is full-back Nick Abendanon.

The former Bath man has been in scintillating form for Clermont this season and like Armitage has been nominated for European Player of the Year. With Mike Browns ongoing concussion issues there may be a spot for Abendanon in Lancaster’s squad, his brilliant counter-attacking style could really suit the way England are trying to play.

For more information on our superb range of Twickenham hospitality packages please click here.

LAST CHANCE – FREE TICKETS FOR MOSELEY VS PLYMOUTH

Probably the biggest match for Moseley in many a season this Saturday.

They play Plymouth Albion at Billesley Common and must win or Championship rugby next season will be hanging by a thread.

Moseley are seven points clear of the bottom club and have their destiny in their own hands. A draw would do but you can’t think that way.

The final fixtures see Moseley go to Jersey and Plymouth Albion welcome Doncaster.

For Moseley, it is squeaky bum time once again. The current Moseley squad are well capable of producing a big performance and how it is needed.

There is much to inspire them.

The terrific new stand is being launched and it is old players’ day when some of the club’s finest including former England internationals will be making a return.

With no sugar daddy benefactor it is always hard. The club, headed by committed local businessman Dave Warren, have one of the smallest budgets in the division, but off the park the infrastructure is being put in.

Life would have been so much easier had Moseley won away to Bedford at the weekend, but instead they went down 31-21 as the hosts eventually crossed the visitors whitewash five times.

Moseley must sort it against Plymouth; they cannot risk having to go to the Channel Islands and win albeit a big supporters’ contingent is already booked in for a spot of sunshine.

We at Eventmasters are doing our utmost to help the red and blacks.

A reminder that the firm are providing complimentary tickets to the crucial Greene King IPA Championship game against Plymouth Albion, kick off 3pm.

To secure your complimentary tickets you will need to either follow both Eventmasters via @eventmastersuk, and Moseley Rugby Club, @MoseleyRugbyFC, on Twitter or, if you use LinkedIn, follow each of our company pages at
Eventmasters: https://www.linkedin.com/company/2360616 and Moseley FC: https://www.linkedin.com/company/3260935.

Once you have followed each of us on either Twitter or LinkedIn please secure your complimentary tickets through Eventbrite by using the following link – http://moseleyvplymouthalbion.eventbrite.co.uk.

There has already been a massive response. A big crowd will be roaring Moseley on.

Birmingham and the West Midlands is truly behind the lads.

Come on ‘Mose’ – you can do it!