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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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

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

 

Wales vs Ireland Rugby History

Celtic Rivalry on the Rugby Field

Ireland travel to Cardiff to face Wales in the Principality Stadium on Friday 10th March 2017.  The night-time kick-off time brings an added edge to a crucial game for both sides.

In the Six Nations since 2010, both sides have won three times, with a 16-16 draw the last time the sides played in Dublin in 2016.  Two of the last three games in Cardiff have been won by Ireland.

Rugby Union - 2015 RBS 6 Nations - Wales v Ireland - Millennium Stadium

On that Friday night in Cardiff, Ireland will be aiming to keep their Six Nations dream alive after their shock 27-22 defeat in Murrayfield has been followed by victories over Italy and France.

For Wales, a victory is needed to salvage something from a disappointing Six Nations, with the opening victory against Italy followed by a close defeat by England and a humiliating loss in Scotland.

This is a crunch test match.

Playing Ireland has never been easy.  Since the first test match took place in Dublin in January 1882, Wales have had more success with 67 victories against Ireland’s 50 wins, with 7 draws.  However, in Ireland the wins are 28 each with 5 draws.  Cardiff has been the happier hunting ground for Wales, with 36 victories against Ireland’s 20 with 2 draws.

Before every Wales vs Ireland test match, the media have been heard to report that Cardiff has been a happy hunting ground for Ireland, with 5 victories against 3 since the Six Nations began in 2000.  However, recent results are far more even.

Rob Howley and his men have to regroup after the calamitous second half display in Edinburgh.  Ireland, high on confidence after the summer win against the All Blacks and solid performances against Italy and Ireland, are the bookies favourites.

Can Wales combat the physicality of the Irish?  And can they convert the opportunities they create?  By 10pm on Friday 10th March, we will know.

Prior to the test match in Cardiff, Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees will be speaking at a pre-match hospitality event at the Radisson Blu Hotel.  It will be enlightening to hear what a current player and ex Wales and British & Irish Lions capped hooker thinks about the Wales performance in Scotland and his thoughts on playing Ireland.  Maybe he will even mention the infamous try/no try in 2011.

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

 

 

 

Matthew Rees Talks Rugby Before Wales Play Ireland

Pre-Match Hospitality with Matthew Rees in Cardiff

Prior to the Six Nations test match between Wales and Ireland on Friday 10th March 2017, guests will be treated with rugby tales from Cardiff Blues, Wales, and British & Irish Lions hooker, Matthew Rees.

matthew-rees

In a Wales career that started in 2005 against the USA,  Matthew won 61 caps, making him the most capped hooker in Welsh rugby history.  He captained Wales in the 2011 Six Nations, but missed the World Cup in the same year due to a neck injury.  His last Wales cap was against South Africa in June 2014.

wales-british-lions-front-rowIn 2009, Matthew toured South Africa with the British & Irish Lions, winning 3 caps and being selected in the middle of a complete Wales front row for the second test.  The last time a complete Welsh front row had packed down for the Lions was in 1955.

As well at gaining Wales and British & Irish Lions honours, Matthew’s rugby career has seen him play in the colours of Merthyr, Pontypridd, Celtic Warriors, and Llanelli Scarlets, before moving to the Cardiff Blues for the 2013-14 season.  It was whilst at Pontypridd, that Matthew was nicknamed ‘Smiler’.  In May 2016, Matthew signed a new Cardiff Blues contract.

wales-british-lions-front-row-2009

At the Legends Hospitality pre-match event, Matthew will be talking about his life in rugby.  It will also be interesting to hear the views of a current professional who has played at the highest level.  By the time Matthew stands to speak, Wales will have played another test match against Scotland at Murrayfield and Ireland will have played France.  With both Wales and Ireland already losing one test match each, neither can afford a second defeat.

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

 

 

Rugby Tales from David Duckham

The Perfect Rugby Warm Up for Wales vs England

Our build-up to last weekend’s Wales and England test match in Cardiff involved two events with England, British and Irish Lions and Coventry rugby legend David Duckham.  David’s recounted stories of his days with England and the Lions, giving his personal insight into life in rugby before professionalism.

On Friday 10th February, David spoke at a special rugby dinner held at the fantastic Cae Court Hotel and Restaurant in Bridgend.  Among the guests was rugby fan and Wales First Minister, Carwyn Jones.  After the dinner, signed rugby memorabilia was raffled to raise money for local charities.

Legends Hospitality David Duckham Lunch at Cae Court Bridgend

At the event, the locally-based international sports artist Patrick Killian exhibited a David Duckham original painting for the first time.  The stunning painting was signed by David and a time-lapse video showing Patrick working on the painting can be seen on the Killian Art website.

Legends Hospitality David Duckham Lunch at Cae Court Bridgend

The lunch was a great success and the ideal start to the second Six Nations weekend of 2017.

Prior to the Wales vs England test match on Saturday 11th February, David Duckham and JPR Williams entertained the guests with tales of rugby in the 1970s.  They also talked about professional rugby in the modern era and the Wales vs England test match.   The Q & A session was particularly interesting with probing questions seeking the opinions of two rugby legends who are still respected across the rugby world.

Wales vs EnglandAt the event, Patrick Killian also displayed a painting of JPR Williams playing for the British and Irish Lions against the All Blacks in 1971.  The painting was signed by JPR Williams and is one-of-a kind.

Just before people left for the stadium, David was joined by British Lions and Wales flanker Tom David.

A selection of photographs from both events can be seen on the Paul Fears Photography website:

The next Legends Hospitality event, with British and Irish Lions and Wales Hooker Matthew Rees, is prior to the Wales vs Ireland Six Nations test match on Friday 10th March.  For more information or to book at place, please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

Wales vs England

Potential Lions from Six Nations Round 1

Who Boosted Their Chance for a British and Irish Lions Place?

What a great start to the Six Nations.  Mind you, would we have expected any less?

Scotland edged out much-fancied Ireland 27-22 in a thriller at Murrayfield.  I fear for the Italians who have to face the Irish next.  It could be a bonus point annihilation in Italy.

stuart-hogg-comes-close-lions-v-reds_2956418

But in Edinburgh, who stood out?  In my mind, there were two players who put their hands up.  At full-back, Stuart Hogg once again showed how he is possibly the best attacking 15 in the world.  His running lines and speed will terrorise any defence, including the All Blacks.

Another player who has an outside chance of getting on the plane down-under is Greig Laidlaw.  A key link man, but also a phenomenal kicker.

Of the Irish, maybe only Ian Henderson stood out for the Lions coaching team.

haskellEngland stretched their winning run to 15 with a hard-fought 19-16 victory against France.  It was not the most spectacular of games and the biggest impact appeared to be the English bench.  James Haskell must be penciled onto the Lions squad team sheet and I expect to see more of him in the Six Nations.

When Wales played Italy on Sunday, all eyes were on Sam Warburton and he did not disappoint.  Also, Alun Wyn Jones did everything expected of being the captain and enhanced his chances of being Gatland’s right hand man in New Zealand when Wales left the field securing a 33-7 victory.  And can you leave out Halfpenny, who kicked Wales back into the game when they were 7-3 down?  But where would you play him?

Before the Wales vs England test match this weekend, we have a rugby hospitality event with David Duckham and JPR Williams at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cardiff.  It will be interesting to hear their thoughts about the crunch test match and those who can forget booking a family summer holiday.

For more information about pre-match rugby hospitality in Cardiff, please contact Paul Fielding on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

 

Lunch with David Duckham at Cae Court

A Rugby Fueled Special Friday Lunch

On Friday 10th February, the day before Wales entertain England in Cardiff, English rugby legend David Duckham will be the guest speaker at a special lunch in Cae Court, Bridgend.

Cae Court overlooks the River Ogmore and is regarded as one of the best restaurants in South Wales.  Their head chef has a background in fine dining, but has developed an extraordinary talent for fusing flavours from around the world.  Working with local suppliers, he sources the finest ingredients and grows many of his own herbs.

David Duckham returns to Wales ready to speak at the Legends Hospitality pre-match hospitality event at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Cardiff on match day.  He is a rugby icon of England, the Barbarians, and the British and Irish Lions, and is often called an ‘Honorary Welshman’.

david-duckham-2

Watch out for announcements of other special rugby lunches in South Wales.

The rugby lunch in Cae Court is sold out, but there are a few remaining places available for the pre-match hospitality in Cardiff..

For more information or to book a place at the Pre-Match hospitality event with David Duckham, 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 England

Memorable Welsh Rugby Success

There is a unique atmosphere in Cardiff when England travel across the bridge to play Wales at rugby.  There is a buzz and excitement among the throngs of red-shirt wearing supporters as they sip their pints of Brains SA.  You can almost hear the thoughts of fans wishing and praying for a Wales victory.  There is no other atmosphere like it.

It is also fair to say that the game probably means more to the Welsh public than the English.  For England, it is just another tough test match, although the cauldron of the Arms Park or Millennium Stadium has terrified the men in white into submission previously.

In recent years, England has dominated the Six Nations matches, but there is a history of great games between the two sides.  However, the first memorable victory came at Twickenham in the World Cup 2015 group stages.

England 25 Wales 28, World Cup 2015, Twickenham, 26th September 2015

This was England’s home World Cup and they found themselves in the group of death with Wales and Australia.  Wales had failed to beat Australia (yet again) and so their only chance of progressing was to beat England on home soil.

After falling behind and losing several key players to injury, late on in the game replacement scrum-half turned wing Lloyd Williams, broke down the left hand touchline and put in a kick behind the English defence.  Whilst sprinting at pace, Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies picked up the ball and touched down under the posts.  England never recovered and went on to lose.  The defeat also resulted in Stuart Lancaster losing his job as England coach.

Wales 30 England 3, Six Nations 2013, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, 16th March 2013

The English were on a role and the Grand Slam and Six Nations title seemed within their grasps when they travelled down to Cardiff for the final game of the 2013 championship. Wales, being coached by Rob Howley whilst Warren Gatland took a British and Irish Lions sabbatical, had lost the opening game against Ireland.  They followed up with wins against France in Paris,  Italy in Rome, and Scotland in Edinburgh.  If they were to win the championship, they were going to do it the hard way.

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For whatever reason, England just did not turn up.  The Wales back row of Warburton, Faletau and Tipuric were immense and dominated the collision area.  By the 66th minute England had conceded 2 Cuthbert tries and were 27-3 down.  They never recovered.  Wales left the Millennium Stadium clutching the trophy snatched out of English hands.

Wales 11 England 9, Six Nations 2005, Twickenham, 5th February 2005

Wales faced England in the opening match of the 2005 Six Nations on the back of 7 consecutive defeats against the men in white.  However, 2005 was the year of the dragon.  The year when Wales would secure a first Grand Slam since 1976.

Under the watchful eye of referee Steve Walsh and with an exceptionally long penalty kick by Gavin Henson, Wales secured victory.  The only try of the game was scored by legend Shane Williams and proved to the springboard towards a famous Grand Slam.

Pre Match Hospitality Prior to Wales playing England on Saturday 11th February 2017

Prior to this year’s Six Nations contest between Wales and England in Cardiff on Saturday 11th February, England and British and Irish Lions legend, David Duckham will be talking about the rivalry at a pre-match hospitality event run by Legends Hospitality.  Duckham is often called the ‘Honorary Welshman’ because of his flair and it will be interesting to hear what he has to say.  David will also be joined by Wales and British Lions full back, JPR Williams MBE for a Q&A.

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

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

Wales vs England Rugby Facts

Six Nations Rivalry Between the Dragon and The Rose

Firstly, I have to mention that I am writing this as a passionate Welshman.  Not that this will change the facts and statistics.  They are irrefutable.  However, for any Welshmen there is something special when we beat England.

The Six Nations has seen the white shirts of England dominate in recent years.  There have been victories in 2015, 15 and 16.  Yes, Wales did put a spoke in the wheel of the England Rugby World Cup in 2015, but that has been the only joy for since the infamous 30-3 annihilation in Cardiff in 2013.

Now there’s the first ray of hope for the Welsh.  The coach at the time was Rob Howley.  In charge as Warren Gatland took a British and Irish Lions sabbatical.  The year that Wales last won the Six Nations.  Will history repeat itself?

The first international rugby game between Wales and England was on the 19th February 1881 in London.  England emerged victorious and it was not until 1890 in Yorkshire did Wales carve out their first historic win 1-0.

Over the decades, both Wales and England have dominated for short periods of time.  Between March 2000 and March 2004, England won 7 consecutive games and inflicted some of their biggest winning scores and margins.

In the Golden Age of Welsh rugby, Wales won 5 consecutive tests between February 1975 and March 1979.

Wales and England have played 129 times, with 60 victories to England against 57 to Wales with 1673 points to 1518.  There have been 12 draws, the last of which was in the 1983 Five Nations Championship in Cardiff (13-13) when England ended up with the Wooden Spoon after starting the tournament as favourites.

engalnd-vs-wales-1983

However, in the Six Nations, England have been dominate, carving out 11 victories to Wales 6.

david-duckham-1Prior to this year’s Six Nations contest between Wales and England in Cardiff on Saturday 11th February, England and British and Irish Lions legend, David Duckham will be talking about the rivalry at a pre-match hospitality event run by Legends Hospitality.  Duckham is often called the ‘Honorary Welshman’ because of his flair and it will be interesting to hear what he has to say.  In 2015, Steve Fenwick and JPR Williams shared their views, which was enlightening!  Photos can be seen on the Paul Fears Photography website.

The bookies are behind England, who are 2/5 on favourites to win.  But it is in Cardiff and the spectre of Rob Howley and 2013 will be floating around the Principality Stadium.

And I simply wish to whisper, “Cymru am byth.”

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

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website