David Duckham Charms Porthcawl RFC

Photographs from the David Duckham Dinner at Porthcawl RFC

There was a lot of laughter and some tough questions from the audience when David Duckham spoke at Porthcawl RFC on the 12th October.

David is a fantastic speaker and told some great tales from his rugby days with England, the British Lions and Barbarians.  The rugby faithful at Porthcawl also asked for David’s opinion on the recent Lions tour, the present spate of injuries in rugby, refereeing consistency, and modern day rugby.  His insights were fascinating.

Here are a selection of photographs from the dinner taken by Paul Fears Photography:

Legends Hospitality have a number of hospitality events organised before the end of the year including Pre-Match hospitality in Cardiff prior to Wales vs Australia (with Lee Byrne) and Wales vs New Zealand (with James Hook and Emyr Lewis).  For further information, please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

 

 

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James Hook and Emyr Lewis Q&A before Wales play New Zealand

Pre Match Rugby Hospitality in Cardiff with James Hook and Emyr Lewis

On Saturday 25th November, Wales play the mighty All Blacks at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff as the 3rd game in the Autumn Under Armour Series.  And everyone will be asking whether Wales will be able to beat the men in black for the first time since the 21st December 1953.

Wales vs All Bkacks

Prior to the test match, James Hook (British Lions, Wales, and presently playing for the Ospreys) and Emyr Lewis (ex player with Wales, Cardiff and Llanelli) will be meeting guests and having a Q&A at the Legends Hospitality event at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cardiff.

James Hook is one of the most gifted rugby players to grace the field of play in the past decade.  Many rugby supporters across the world question why he has not been involved in the Wales rugby squad in recent years and added to his 81 caps.  With an ability to play at Fly-half, Centre, and Fullback, his return to Wales to play for the Ospreys was seen as a real coup.James Hook

Emyr Lewis played 41 times for Wales between 1991 and 1996.  He played for Cardiff RFC, Llanelli RFC, and Carmarthen RFC, mainly as a number 8.  He regularly commentates on rugby with the BBC and S4C broadcasting companies and is not shy on expressing his views.

Emyr Lewis

It will be very interesting to hear the views of a current player and rugby commentator.  Warren Gatland and his coaching team are still smarting after the criticism by Irishman Sean O’Brien and with only 2 years left on his contract, Gatland has a lot to prove.

Tickets are available for this Wales vs New Zealand pre-match hospitality event, but the availability is limited.  Included with the pre-match Q&A with James and Emyr is a 3-course meal and a free bar, all for £99 per person.

For more information or to book a place at the Pre-Match hospitality event with James Hook and Emyr Lewis prior to the Wales vs New Zealand test, please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

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David Duckham Guest Speaks At Porthcawl RFC

Porthcawl RFC welcomes ex British Lions and England Rugby Player David Duckham

On 12th October 2017, Porthcawl Rugby Club will welcome ex England and British Lions rugby union player, David Duckham for an evening talking about the great game.

David Duckham MBE is regarded as an honorary Welshmen by many of those who saw him play in the 1970s.  With his trademark long blonde hair billowing behind, Duckham would evade defenders with true grace, balance and speed.david-duckham-2

In a senior career that started in 1967 and ended in 1979, Duckham was a one-club man, a rarity in today’s professional era.  He played 188 times for his beloved Coventry RFC, scoring 88 points.

His England debut came in 1969 and he went on to earn 36 caps and scoring 36 points before his final test in 1976.  In 1971, he was a key member of the 1971 British and Irish Lions squad that toured and beat New Zealand scoring 11 tries in 16 games on tour.  He also played in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th tests.  In 1973, ‘Dai’ Duckham (as he was christened by the partisan Welsh crowd) played in the memorable Barbarians vs All Blacks game at Cardiff Arms Park.  The Barbarians won the game 23-11.

Duckham recently entertained rugby enthusiasts at two events (Cae Court in Bridgend and at the Radisson Blu in Cardiff) before Wales played England at Cardiff earlier this year.

Since retiring, Duckham was awarded the MBE for services to rugby and he is also Honorary President of the rugby charity, Wooden Spoon.Legends Hospitality David Duckham Lunch at Cae Court Bridgend

Duckham will be speaking at Porthcawl RFC, one of the oldest rugby clubs in Wales.  Founded in 1880, they have developed a number of notable rugby players including Clive Williams (Wales and the British Lions), Tom Prydie (Wales and presently playing for the Scarlets), Ryan Bevington (Wales and presently playing for Bristol Rugby), Roddy Evans (Wales and the British Lions) and Roger Michaelson (Wales).

Porthcawl presently sit on top of WRU National League Division 3 West Central A with 19 points from 4 games.

Legends Hospitality have a number of events organised before the end of the year including Pre-Match hospitality prior to Wales vs Australia (with Lee Byrne) and Wales vs New Zealand.  For further information, please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

Pre Match Rugby Hospitality Back for Autumn Tests

Getting Ready for Wales Autumn Test Matches

The British and Irish Lions series is but a distant memory as we move into October.  After the stinging criticism from players including Irishman Sean O’Brien, the Wales coaching team have an opportunity to prove themselves.

On the 11th November, Wales play Australia (kick off at 17:15).  In the recent Rugby Championship, the Wallabies just managed to finished 2nd, ahead of a lack-lustre Springboks and miles behind the champions New Zealand.  Has there ever been a better time to beat them?

Lee Bryne Shane Williams Wales vs Australia Nov 2008Pre-match, we have a hospitality events at the Radisson Blue Hotel in the centre of Cardiff.  Prior to Wales playing Australia, ex British Lions and Wales full back Lee Byrne will be talking about his rugby experiences.  Lee only retired from rugby in 2015 and has first hand experience of working with the present incumbent Wales coaching team.  He also knows how it feels to be on the winning side when playing against Australia, having played a key part and scoring a try in the 21-18 victory in 2008.  It will be interesting to hear what he has to say.

A week later, Wales entertain Georgia.  This is expected to be a physical battle for players on the fringe of the Wales first team.

Crowds in Cardiff for Wales vs All Blacks-7983And on the 25th November, the mighty All Blacks role into Cardiff.  Fresh from their demolition of Argentina, Australia and South Africa, they will be looking to brush aside Wales and build on another long winning streak.  Have the Wales coaching team and players learned enough in the summer to devise a plan to beat the men in black?  We can only but hope.

Who better to ask than our speakers James Hook and Emyr Lewis?  James Hook has played under Gatland and many people in Wales believe that he should still be in the squad.  Emyr Lewis is an ex-international with plenty to say.

The last game of the Autumn series is against South Africa on the 2nd December.  The Springboks had a mixed Rugby Championship, including a record loss against the All Blacks.  However, against Australia there were signs that the tide might be changing and this will be a real challenge for Wales.

We will have to wait and see whether the Wales coaching team can prove the doubters wrong and implement a game plan to beat the men south of the equator.

For more information or to book a place at the Pre-Match hospitality event with Lee Byrne prior to Wales vs Australia or with James Hook and Emyr Lewis prior to Wales vs New Zealand, please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

3rd British Lions vs All Blacks test 1971 versus 2017

Can British Lions Rugby History Repeat Itself?

On 31st July 1971, players selected by British Lions coach Carwyn James ran onto the pitch at Athletic Park in Wellington, New Zealand with the chance to create rugby history.  Never before had a Lions side won a series in New Zealand.

In the 4-test series, the Lions had won the 1st test in Carisbrook, Dundein 9-3 and then lost 22-12 at Lancaster Park, Christchurch.  Even though there was still one remaining test after Wellington, winning the 3rd test would put the Lions in pole position for a historic series victory.

So how does the British Lions team who face the All Blacks at Eden Park in Auckland in tomorrow’s (8th July 2017) test compare with the 1971 heroes?

Full Back – 15

JPR Williams (Wales) played all 4 tests in 1971 and famously leveled the 4th and final test with a 45 metre drop-goal, the only one of his illustrious career.

An equally uncompromising and unpredictable Welshman wears the 15 jersey tomorrow.  Liam Williams, the Scarlet who joins Saracens next season, produced some rugby brilliance in the 1st test, sidestepping to start one of the best Lions tries ever scored.  He was not our predicted full back (we chose Leigh Halfpenny back in April 2017), and can he reproduce that 1st Test magic, whilst also cutting out simple mistakes?

Wings – 11 & 14

In the 1971 3rd test, the wing berths were occupied by Gerald Davies (Wales) and honorary Welshman David Duckham (England).   Davies started the 3rd test after scoring twice in the 2nd test.  He went on to score the vital only try of the game.  Our April prediction of  George North (Wales) and Stuart Hogg (Scotland) never materialized because of injury and form.  Instead, two Englishmen have claimed the shirts.  Anthony Watson and Elliot Daly will hopefully provide the magic and pace to frighten the All Blacks out wide.

Centres – 12 & 13

Captain John Dawes lined up with Irish legend Mike Gibson for all 4 tests in 1971.  In April, we predicted that Owen Farrell (England) would start the 1st test at 12 with Jonathan Davies (Wales) outside in the 1st test.  We were out by one game, with Gatland selecting them for the 2nd and 3rd Tests.  Jonathan Davies has been in great form and has cut through the All Blacks in each Test.  He just needs support and composure to turn those opportunities into tries.

Fly/Outside Half – 10

People say that Rugby is different today, but Welshman Barry John is still regarded as one of the finest players ever to wear the number 10 shirt.  He played all 4 tests in 1971, kicking 5 penalties, 3 conversions, and 2 drop goals.  Initially we thought Gatland would stick with his statement that Farrell and Sexton would be competing for the same shirt, but in the 2nd test he surprised everyone and selected Sexton at 10.

Scrum Half – 9

The All Blacks faced the best Scrum Half ever to play the game of rugby in 1971.  Gareth Edwards was the ultimate number 9 and gave Barry John the space he needed to excel.  Our ‘Welsh-Rose-Tinted-Glasses’ envisaged Rhys Webb starting the first test, but Connor Murray has made the 9 shirt his own.  Strong and with an excellent box kick, Murray scored the decisive try in the 2nd test.

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Number 8

Welshman Mervyn Davies (Merv-the-swerve) played all 4 Test at number 8 in 1971.  In 2017, Billy Vinopola (England) was the favourite to wear the shirt, but failed to make the tour due to injury.  His place has been taken by the quiet and unassuming Taulupe Faletau (Wales).  He has had an excellent tour and his try in the 2nd Test started the come back.

Back Row – 6 & 7

John Taylor and Peter Dixon had been selected for the 1st two tests in 1971 and would go on to be selected for the 4th Test, but their places were taken by Derek Quinnell (Wales) and Fergus Slattery (Ireland) for the 3rd Test.  Back in April, we thought that tour captain Sam Warburton (Wales) may start the 1st test at 6, but we were out by one game.  His physicality in the 2nd test was one of the reasons for a more competitive forward encounter.  However, we selected the wrong Irishman as his partner in the back row, with the outstanding Sean O’Brien keeping CJ Stander (Ireland) out of the test squad.

Second Row – 4 & 5

For the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Tests in 1971, Lions legend, Willie John McBride (Ireland) packed down with Gordon Brown (Scotland).  Again, our selection prediction for the 1st Test in 2017 was one game out, as veteran Alun Wyn-Jones (Wales) and Maro Itoje (England) pack down for the 2nd time in the engine house.

Props – 1 & 3

The front row was the same for all 4 Tests in 1971, with J F Lynch (Ireland) and Mighty Mouse, Ian McLauchlan (Scotland) propping.  Although there was some consternation that we had predicted the selection of two tightheads for the 1st Test (Dan Cole (England) and Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)), Furlong starts alongside Mako Vunipola (England).  Let’s hope that Vunipola keeps his head and his discipline in the 3rd Test.

Hooker – 2

English great John Pullin was the man in the middle of the scrum in 1971.  Our selection prediction for the 1st Test included Welshman Ken Owens, and he makes the bench.  England second choice, Jamie George, has made the Hooker position his own with some sterling performances on tour.

On the 8th July 2017, the 22 British Lions players selected to play against the All Blacks have the chance to become rugby legends.  There is no doubting the enormity of the occasion.  Some say this is just 22 players against 22.  But then we utter the words ‘All Blacks’.  To win, those selected to wear the red shirt will have to play at the peak of their ability.  They will need to push their bodies to the point of exhaustion.  Only then might the Lions have a chance of winning the final Test and securing the series.

Good luck!  We are all behind you!

Legends Hospitality arrange sports hospitality events in South Wales including pre-match entertainment in Cardiff.  For further information please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

 

Phil Bennett Speaks at Caldicot RFC

British Lions Stories and Thoughts from Phil Bennett

Our latest rugby hospitality event was with the legendary Llanelli, Wales, Barbarians and British Lions fly-half Phil Bennett at Caldicot RFC in South Wales.Legends_Hospitality-234225

With the British Lions presently touring New Zealand, it was great to hear the thoughts of a player who wore the Lions red jersey in 8 tests on the 1974 and 1977 tours scoring 44 points.  He was also captain of the 1977 tour to New Zealand, which they lost 3-1.

Phil Bennett was a key member of the undefeated 1974 British Lions who toured South Africa.  However, his style of running the ball from any part of the pitch was not to the liking of tour captain, Willie John McBride, who told him to ‘not try any of that Barbarians funny stuff here’.  McBride was referring to the Barbarians vs All Blacks test match in 1973 when Bennett double-side stepped inside his own 22 and starting the move that produced, what many believe, was the greatest try ever scored.

Even though rugby has changed with the advent of professionalism, Phil explained that the ability to succeed as a British Lions squad is down to the bonding of the team as much as the capabilities of individual players.

Legends_Hospitality-1497016390447

It was fascinating to listen to Phil’s stories from a classic rugby era, but also to hear his opinions on the modern day game.  Phil often appears as a rugby pundit on television, radio and in the printed press, and his depth of knowledge and love of the oval-balled game was clear for all to see.  It was a great night for any lover of rugby

Caldicot RFC is based near Chepstow in Monmouthshire and was founded in 1961.  In the 2016-17 season, Caldicot RFC finished tenth in the WRU National League Division 2 East with 36 points.

Legends Hospitality arrange sports hospitality events in South Wales including pre-match entertainment in Cardiff.  For further information please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

British Lions On Show In Championship Finals

Who Will Play In The First Test in New Zealand?

This weekend (27th May 2017) is the culmination of months of grueling and exciting rugby with two title deciders.  In the Guinness Pro 12, Llanelli Scarlets travel to Ireland to face Munster, and in the Aviva Premiership, Wasps take on Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham.  But which of the 8 British Lions starting in those two finals will be in the starting 15 for the first New Zealand test match in Eden Park, Auckland on 24th June 2017?

Aviva Stadium Dublin

Munster vs Llanelli Scarlets

The best of Scotland, Italy, Wales and Ireland face each other at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.  In Dublin there will be 5 Lions squad players on the pitch, with tourist Ken Owens (Scarlets) still recovering from injury.

Jonathan Davies (Scarlets)

Many people think that Davies was lucky to be selected, but when he’s on form he is difficult to handle.  Since being selected his form has improved, but he will need a big game against Munster to push his claim for a starting spot against the All Blacks on the 24th.

Conor Murray (Munster)

Murray is widely expected to secure the number 9 shirt for the first test.  His abrasive style and experience of beating the All Blacks pushes him ahead of Webb and Laidlaw.  However, he also is just returning from injury and it will be interesting to see how he performs.

Conor Murray

Peter O’Mahony

Munster captain, O’Mahony leads by example and will be a huge force to for the Scarlets back row to contain tomorrow.  The level of competition in the back row might just keep him out of the starting 15, but he could make the bench.

C J Stander (Munster)

Tough and uncompromising.  Stander has been outstanding in recent seasons and Warren Gatland has even talked about him being selected at Number 8.  Although maybe Faletau and Moriarty may have something to say about that.  Excellent chance of being selected for the 1st Test.

Liam Williams (Scarlets)

He can play anywhere across the back 3 and has even taken over the kicking duties at the Scarlets.  Making the first 15 may be just out of his reach, although his versatility might get him a place on the bench.

Wasps vs Exeter Chiefs

In Twickenham, the cream of English rugby will be fighting it out to secure the title.  For Exeter it is almost a dream, whilst Dai Young has managed to bring the magic back to Wasps.  However, only 3 Lions squad members will be on show.

Eliot Daly (Wasps)

Another versatile back 3 player who performed well in the Six Nations.  However, with the level of competition, he may struggle to get into the squad for the 1st test unless his performances on tour are outstanding.

James_Haskell_2011James Haskell (Wasps)

Drafted into the squad following Billy Vunipola’s unfortunate withdrawal.  Just because he is a late call up, doesn’t mean that he can’t secure a spot in the 22 and he will be out to show that he should have been selected from day 1.  However, competition in the back row does suggest he may be resigned to watching from the stands.

Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)

Quick, powerful and abrasive.  With North highly likely to feature on one wing, is the 2nd berth between Nowell, Daly, Halfpenny and Hogg?  Like Daly, securing a place in the test squad may be down to outperforming his challengers on tour.

Playing in the finals will be an exciting but worrying time for all the players.  The physicality of rugby means that there will be injuries.  We wish all those playing the best of luck and he hope that they are all on that British Lions plane when it leaves the UK for New Zealand.

Legends Hospitality arrange sports hospitality events in South Wales including pre-match entertainment in Cardiff.  For further information please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

 

 

Any There Any 2018 Six Nations Fixture Advantages?

Six Nations 2018 Fixture Dates

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It was been suggested that setting the fixture dates for the Six Nations in 2018 did not go smoothly.  The declaration from Wales that they were no longer happy to play at home on a Friday night, forced a rethink of the fixture dates.  Also, as England refuse to play on a Friday night, it left Scotland and Ireland to fight out the hotly debated and much maligned early weekend fixture.

There was also talk of a shortened 5-week Six Nations, supported by the English RFU, but widely criticised by players and those involved in player welfare.

Now the dust has settled and the fixtures are set.  So does anyone have an advantage?

England vs Wales (10th February 2018)

Champions England open in Italy, but then face Wales in Twickenham only 6 days later.  Will there be enough time to recover?  Wales have the luxury of a home game against Scotland and a full 7 days recovery.  Maybe Eddie Jones should start writing his excuses for a potential England loss.

Millennium Stadium Cardiff

 Wales vs France (17th March 2018)

The only time Wales will have less than 7 days to recover is before the final test against France.  However, 6 days earlier they play at Cardiff against Italy.  Not needing to travel should be advantageous.  Also, it is the last game of the tournament and so both sides will know what is needed to secure the title.  Could this be the title decider?

Ireland vs Italy (10th February 2018)

After facing defending champions England on the first weekend, albeit at home, Italy then travel to Ireland 6 days later to face the men in green.  With limited player resources, will the Azzurri be ready to face one of the favourites for the tournament?

Italy vs Scotland (17th March 2018)

Isn’t it strange how Italy, the weakest team in the tournament, are also given the toughest fixture dates.  For the 2nd time in 2018, Italy will be faced with a 6-day turnaround after facing Wales in Cardiff.  If points are needed on that final weekend, then a weakened and tired Azzuri could make a big difference to the final standings.

2018 Six Nations Fixtures

The full 2018 Six Nations fixture list is:

3rd February 2018

Wales v Scotland, Saturday 2.15pm
France v Ireland, Saturday 4.45pm

4th February

Italy v England, Sunday 3.00pm

10th February

Ireland v Italy, Saturday 2.15pm
England v Wales, Saturday 4.45pm

11th February 2018

Scotland v France, Sunday 3.00pm

23rd February

France v Italy, Friday 8.00pm

24th February 2018

Ireland v Wales, Saturday 2.15pm
Scotland v England, Saturday 4.45pm

10th March

Ireland v Scotland, Saturday 2.15pm
France v England, Saturday 4.45pm

11th March 2018

Wales v Italy, Sunday 3.00pm

17th March

Italy v Scotland, Saturday 12.30pm
England v Ireland, Saturday 2.45pm
Wales v France, Saturday 5.00pm

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Pre-Match Hospitality

Once again, prior to each of the Wales home games, Legends Hospitality will be holding pre-match events at the Radisson Blue Hotel in the centre of Cardiff.  Guest from the world of rugby will be present to meet with guests and talk about the Six Nations and their life in rugby.  Further details will be released shortly and please contact Paul on 01656 782252 or by email on legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk for further information.

Legends Hospitality arrange sports hospitality events in South Wales including pre-match entertainment in Cardiff.  For further information please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

This Years British Lions versus 1971

Who Will Start Against the All Blacks on 24th June?

On Wednesday 19th April 2017, coach Warren Gatland announced the 41-man squad to tour and beat New Zealand in the summer.  There were some surprise inclusions and omissions, but the general consensus is that this is a strong squad.

British Lions 1971

The last British Lions team to win a series in New Zealand was in 1971.  Coached by the legendary Carwyn James and captained by Welshman John Dawes, the Lions won the series 2-1 with the final test in Auckland being drawn.

So how does the present Lions squad compare?  We look at the Lions team who started the First Test against the All Blacks and compare against a predicted team for the 2017 selection:

Full Back – 15

JPR Williams (Wales) started in 1971 as 1 of 6 Welsh players in a formidable back line.  Our prediction for 2017 is the best defensive 15 in the world, another Welshman, Leigh Halfpenny.

Wings – 11 & 14

Another 2 Welshman, Gerald Davies and John Bevan terrorised the All Blacks from out wide.  In 2017, George North (Wales) will be given the task of thundering into the opposition, supported by the speed and slight-of-foot of Stuart Hogg (Scotland).

Centres – 12 & 13

Captain John Dawes lined up with Irish legend Mike Gibson in 1971.  In one of the most hotly contested positions on tour, Own Farrell (England) will start at 12 with Jonathan Davies (Wales) outside.

Fly/Outside Half – 10

One of the best players to grace the rugby field wore the number 10 shirt in 1971.  Welshman Barry John.  But in 2017, it will be an Irishman, Johnny Sexton, who is given the responsibility.

Barry John Johnny Sexton

Scrum Half – 9

Another legend of the game, Gareth Edwards, played scrum half in 1971.  Legend has it that his partnership with Barry John was created in heaven.  Another Welshman will don the number 9 shirt in 2017, Ospreys Rhys Webb.

Number 8

Mervyn Davies (Merv-the-swerve) joined the contingent of Wales players in the team packing down at number 8 in 1971.  In 2017, Billy Vinopola (England) will take on the responsibility to carry the ball across the gain line from the start.

Back Row – 6 & 7

A Welshman, John Taylor, and Englishman, Peter Dixon, teamed up to tame the All Blacks in 1971.  In 2017, the blindside number 6 spot will be taken by CJ Stander (Ireland) with tour captain Sam Warburton (Wales) at 7.  Although could Sam start at 6?

Second Row – 4 & 5

Lions legend, Willie John McBride (Ireland) packed down with W D Thomas of Wales and Llanelli in the engine room.  In probably the most highly contested position on tour, veteran Alun Wyn-Jones (Wales) will join forces with Lions debutante Maro Itoje (England) in a forceful second row.

Props – 1 & 3

The props who made up the 1971 Front Row were J F Lynch (Ireland) and Mighty Mouse, Ian McLauchlan (Scotland).  On this tour there were will be players selected specifically as starters and substitutes and for that reason Dan Cole (England) and Tadhg Furlong (Ireland) get the nod.

Hooker – 2

English great John Pullin was the man in the middle of the scrum in 1971.  When the packs sets the first scrum in New Zealand on 24th June, Welshman Ken Owens will be balanced between his two props.

There is still a lot of rugby to be played before the British Lions face the All Blacks in the First Test and injuries will play a major part in the selection of the team.  The question is whether this Lions side would be good enough to beat the All Blacks on their turf.  Feedback is welcomed!

Legends Hospitality arrange sports hospitality events in South Wales including pre-match entertainment in Cardiff.  For further information please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

3 Great Wales Victories Against Ireland

Classic Rugby International Wins for Wales Against Ireland

The Wales vs Ireland Six Nations fixture has grown in intensity in recent years.  Whether that is because of the Warren Gatland association or the closely contested Guinness Pro 12 is unclear.  Nevertheless, Friday night’s fixture will undoubtedly be feisty.

Wales approach Friday’s Six Nations test match on the back of two consecutive defeats.  In contract, Ireland have bounced back with two victories after losing in Scotland.  There is pressure on the Wales team and coaching staff.  This is heralded as a must-win test match, but aren’t they all?

So, we look back, at some great Wales victories in the modern era.

Wales 32 Ireland 20, Six Nations, Millennium Stadium, 19th March 2005

Mike Rudduck had masterminded a brilliant Six Nations and on the final weekend of the 2005 season, Wales had a chance to secure their first Grand Slam since 1978.  The atmosphere in the whole of Wales was electric and, for the first time in decades, the Welsh rugby faithful believed.

Wales had not beaten Ireland in the previous five attempts.  Only 3 years previously, Ireland had hammered Wales 54-10 in Dublin.  This wasn’t going to be easy.

Gethin Jenkins helped calm the nerves, charging down a Ronan O’Gara kick before side footing and then falling on the ball to score the opening try.  Wales lead by 16-6 at the break.

When Kevin Morgan scored the 2nd try to put Wales 29-6 up, we all thought that it was all over.  But no.  Back came Ireland, with tries from Marcus Horan and Geordan Murphy.  However, the magnificent Stephen Jones had kept the point ticking over finishing with 16 points.

And then the whole of Wales celebrated their 9th Grand Slam, 18th Triple Crown and 23rd title.  An incredible day!

Wales 22 Ireland 10, Rugby World Cup, Regional Stadium,Wellington, New Zealand, 8th October 2011.

It was the quarter finals of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.  Ireland were the favorites after winning all 4 pool games, including a 15-6 win against Australia.

In front of over 35,000 fans, Wales ran in 3 tries to Ireland’s 1.  Shane Williams scored after only 3 minutes to help Wales secure a 10-3 lead at half -time.  After the break, Ireland came right back into the game with a Keith Earls try.  But there was no stopping the Wales team of 2011.

On 51 minutes, Mike Phillips made a blindside break to score a vital try.  13 minutes later the dominance of the Welsh team saw Jonathan Davies collect a poor kick, fend off Cian Healey and burst through to score a try.

Ireland fought to the bitter end, but Wales held out and marched onto the infamous semi-final against France.

Wales 23 Ireland 21, Six Nations, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, 5th February 2012

In a classic encounter, Wales staged a thrilling comeback to open the 2012 Six Nations campaign with a victory.  Two tries from Jonathan Davies and one from George North with only 4 minutes to play, were enough to beat the Irish on their home turf.

At half-time, Ireland led 10-5 and travelling fans were left wondering whether their exploits in the 2011 World Cup were just a distant memory.  They need not have worried.

In the second half, Wales played with width and depth.  Ronan O’Gara kept the Irish in touch and they led until a 79th minute tip tackle from Stephen Ferris gave Leigh Halfpenny the chance to win the game.

Wales went on to win the championship and secure their 11th Grand Slam.

Rugby Hospitality with Matthew Rees

Prior to the Wales vs Ireland Six Nations test on Friday, Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees will be our guest speaker at a pre-match hospitality dinner (Radisson Blue Hotel , Cardiff).  He will be giving his views on Wales performances in 2017, and also talk about which Welsh and Irish players may be flying out to New Zealand with the British & Irish Lions in the summer.

For more information or to book a place at the Pre-Match hospitality event with Matthew Rees, please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website