Rory Lawson and Alix Popham Talk Rugby Prior to Six Nations Opener in Cardiff

Pre Wales vs Scotland Six Nations Rugby Hospitality

One of the most entertaining tests of the Six Nations is when Wales play Scotland.  Being their first test of the 2018 Six Nations, a result is vitally important for both teams.

Wales National Anthem

This year’s battle will take place on Saturday 3rd February at 14:15 in the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.  Scotland arrive having thrashed the Wallabies 53-24 at Murrayfield on the 25th November.  Wales are also on a single game winning run having defeated the Springboks 24-22 at the beginning of December.

The rugby world has marked down Scotland as the favourites.  But what will two former rugby internationals say?

Pre-Match Build-Up Talking Rugby

Prior to the Wales vs Scotland game, we will be hosting a rugby dinner at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cardiff.  After a fabulous 3-course meal, two former international rugby stars will talk about their experiences and give their views on the vital first test of this year’s Six Nations.

Rory LawsonScotland will be represented by Rory Lawson.  Rory is the grandson of legendary rugby commentator, Bill McLaren and represented Scotland between 2006 and 2010 winning 31 caps.  His rugby career started with Edinburgh Rugby in 2003, before he moved South to Gloucester in 2006 where he spent most of his professional life.  In 2012, after 149 appearances, Rory moved North to Newcastle before retiring due to injury in 2013.

Alix PophamSpeaking in the red corner will be former Wales Back Row Alix Popham.  Considered by many to have won far fewer caps that he deserved often due to injury, Alix played 33 times for Wales between 2003 and 2008.  His career started at Newport in 1998 where he played 89 times.  He moved North for a very successful stint with Leeds Tykes in 2002, making his Wales debut against Australia in 2003.  Alix returned to Wales in 2005 to play for the Llanelli Scarlets before finishing his career at Brive in France.

Building Test Match Excitement

Our pre-match hospitality events provide rugby fans with the perfect start to International Saturday and a location where fans can easily get a beer and eat in a relaxed and warm environment.  For £99 (plus VAT) per person, we have a free bar up until kick-off, a fantastic 3-course meal, a rugby talk with a Q&A with Rory and Alix, and rugby prizes including signed shirts and memorabilia.  All this is staged within a 10 minute walk of the stadium in the centre of Cardiff.  It is a wonderful start to the day for any rugby fan and ideal for companies entertaining staff or clients.

Places are limited and so please contact us as soon as possible if you are interested in coming along.

This is the first of three events we are staging this Spring, with further news on events prior to Wales playing Italy and France being announced shortly.

For more information or to book a place for the Wales vs Scotland test match (or any of Wales Six Nations games), 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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Photos from the James Hook and Emyr Lewis Rugby Hospitality Event

James Hook and Emyr Lewis Talk Rugby Prior to Wales Playing New Zealand

On Saturday 25th November 2017, guests at the Legends pre-match hospitality event were treated to a double dose of rugby with James Hook and Emyr Lewis.

The event, staged at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cardiff, was the perfect start to a great day of rugby with a stunning 3-course meal and entertainment from two Welsh rugby legends.

Here is a selection of photographs from the day.

Early in the Autumn international series, ex Wales and British Lions full-back Lee Byrne spoke about his rugby career prior to Wales playing Australia.

Hospitality at the Radisson Blu with rugby legends is available for the forthcoming Six Nations, although places are limited, and for more information please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

Photos from the Lee Byrne Rugby Hospitality Event

Photographs Taken During Wales vs Australia Pre-Match Entertainment

There was a great anticipation in the room prior to Lee Byrne standing up and talking about his rugby career.  The revelations in his recently published book pointed fingers at the management style of the Wales coaching team and, in particular, Rob Howley.

As always, the food at the Radisson Blu in Cardiff was as excellent as the entertainment and supporters left for the stadium with full stomachs and beer-fueled smiling faces.

Here is a selection of photographs from the event.

Hospitality at the Radisson Blu with rugby legends will be available for the forthcoming Six Nations and for more information please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

Lee Byrne Talks Rugby Before Wales Play Australia

Rugby Hospitality with Lee Byrne Before Wales vs Wallabies

On November 11th 2017, Wales entertain the Qantas Wallabies at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff in the first of 4 tests in the Autumn series.

Lee Bryne Shane Williams Wales vs Australia Nov 2008

Prior to the 17:15 kick off, ex British Lions and Wales full back, Lee Byrne will be talking rugby at the Legends Hospitality event held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cardiff, just minutes away from the stadium.

Lee Byrne BookEarlier this month, Lee Byrne’s controversial autobiography was released and since there has been intense media coverage on the claims that he was bullied by Wales coach Rob Howley.

Lee Byrne played 46 times for Wales and 1 test for the British Lions in a career that spanned from 2003 to 2015.  He was a key member of the 2008 Wales Grand Slam team, scoring 2 tries against England and Italy.

During an illustrious career, Lee played for Llanelli RFC, Scarlets, Ospreys, Clermont Auvergne in France, and finished his career with NG Dragons.  He retired with a shoulder injury in April 2015.

In all, Lee scored 50 points (10 tries) for Wales and 312 points in his club senior career.  He was quick with an instinct for finding a gap in a defensive line.  His performances in the 2008 Grand Slam resulted in selection for the British Lions tour to South Africa and he was unlucky to have to withdraw due to injury.

It is also very appropriate that Lee Byrne is speaking prior to Wales playing the Wallabies as he scored a try and played when Wales last beat Australia 21-18 in Cardiff in 2008.  Wales have failed to beat the Wallabies since.

It will be interesting to hear Lee talk about his rugby career and how he thinks Wales will perform in this season’s Autumn internationals.  Lee will also be available to sign copies of his new book and other memorabilia, as well as talk with guests.

The pre-match rugby hospitality event (only £99 per person) also includes a 3-course meal and a complimentary bar (up until kick-off) in the comfort of one of Cardiff’s best hotels.

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

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

 

 

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.

IMG_1188

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