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

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Will Wales Beat Italy?

Preview of Six Nations Opener in Rome

On the BBC Wales Scrum V rugby programme on Sunday 29th January, all four pundits plumped for a Wales win out in Rome.  However, there were reservations.  The ‘Conor O’Shea’ factor was one of them.

So, will Wales beat Italy?

The rugby press, player and coaches always say that playing in Rome is tough. But let’s look at the facts:

  • There have been 10 tests on Italian soil, with 2 victories for Italy and 8 for Wales;
  • Wales is undefeated in 10 consecutive test against Italy, dating back to 2007;
  • In the last 2 Six Nations games between the two sides in 2015 and 2016, Wales have scored over 60 points in each game;

Maybe the questions should actually be, can Italy beat Wales?

All the pre-match talk in Wales has been about he appointment of Alun Wyn Jones as Welsh captain.  A recognised leader of men, will he galvanise a stuttering Wales attack into a try-scoring machine?

12.03.16 - England v Wales - RBS 6 Nations - Alun Wyn Jones of Wales takes on Joe Marler and Billy Vunipola of England.

Writing from a Wales perspective, I think we have a team that is capable of not only beating Italy, but also winning the Six Nations.  When we perform to our true ability, we are difficult to play against and contain.  Maybe we will see this new so-called ‘open style’ of rugby click into place in Rome.  If that happens, I fear for the Italians.

There will be some key battles and performances, especially with British and Irish Lions tour places up for grabs.

  • Parisse vs Moriarty.  Can the young pretender capitalise on the opportunity of an injured Faletau?  Or will the wise and incredible Parisse carry the Italians on his shoulders once again?
  • Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar.  Can they establish themselves as real contenders as Lions half-backs?
  • Sam Warburton.  Will relinquishing the captain’s arm band propel one of the world’s best 7s to new heights?

We have to wait until Sunday to find out, after France has beaten England at Twickenham, and Scotland has crushed Ireland at Murrayfield.  You may laugh, but it is the Six Nations and stranger things have happened.

Legends Hospitality have a pre-match hospitality event with David Duckham and JPR Williams MBE before Six Nations Wales vs England game in Cardiff 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

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’.

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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

David Duckham Talks Rugby before Wales play England

Six Nations Pre-Match Rugby Hospitality with David Duckham

He is called the honorary Welshman.  In the 70s, people said that he was the only Englishman that could have broken into the Wales team featuring rugby greats including Gareth Edwards and John Dawes.  And on Saturday 11th February, hours before Wales take on England at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, David Duckham will be talking rugby.

The Legends Hospitality Pre-Match Hospitality function with David Duckham is being held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the centre of Cardiff, a 10 minute walk away from the stadium.

The Pre-Match event is the ideal warm up prior to the widely anticipated Wales vs England Six Nations test.  After a two-course meal, David Duckham will be talking about his rugby career with England, the British and Irish Lions and the Barbarians.

David Duckham is widely regarded as one of the best backs ever to play rugby for England.  Whilst playing on the wing or in the centre, the back with the flowing blonde locks would terrorise the opposition.

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David Duckham (front row, 3rd from right) one of several Coventry players in an England shirt

Duckham played for Coventry for the whole of his career.  His England debut came in 1969, playing at centre.  Duckham went on to win 36 caps for England before he retired in 1976.  As part of the All Black series winning British and Irish Lions of 1971, he scored 11 tries in 16 games.

Duckham was the only English back in the 1973 Barbarians side that beat the All Blacks 23–11 at Cardiff Arms Park. In the first half he made a run that has become part of rugby folk lore, that brought gasps and cheers from a Welsh crowd more accustomed to regarding any Englishman with hostility.  When he broke through the All Black defence, he appeared to confuse the commentator, Cliff Morgan, who did not know whether Duckham had sidestepped or dummied.  He even sent the cameraman the wrong way; his change of direction was such that the camera went to the right and Duckham disappeared out of shot to the left. After the match he was given the nickname ‘Dai’ by the Welsh fans because he played like one of their own.

It will be interesting to hear what Duckham thinks about the present England side.  They go into the 2017 Six Nations as favourites and on an incredible winning streak.  Also, which English and Welsh players does he believe will be on the flight to New Zealand with the British and Irish Lions in the summer.

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

david-duckham-2

 

Rugby Hospitality with Phil Davies

Phil Davies on Rugby before Wales Beat South Africa

On Saturday 26th November 2016, Legends Hospitality held a pre-match (Wales vs South Africa) hospitality event at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cardiff.  The guest speaker was Namibia coach Phil Davies, who sat and talked with guests about the challenges of professional rugby and the modern international game.

During a Q&A. compere, Paul Fielding, asked Phil a number of leading questions which kept the audience on the edge of their seats.

Legends Hospitality with Phil DaviesThere was a wry smile when Phil was asked about English second row forward, Wade Dooley, and the infamous ‘Battle of Cardiff’ in 1987.  However, it was Phil’s insight into the culture of rugby in Namibia and South Africa that proved the most intriguing.  There is no doubt that South African rugby is in a period of very difficult transition and that politics are playing a big part in the demise of the once-great Springboks.

What was apparent during the Q&A session was Phil’s depth of rugby knowledge and appreciation of the challenges facing coaches in today’s results drive world.  As the coach of Namibia, Phil has travelled to many other African rugby states and experienced things that many international coaches would never wish to encounter.

At the end of the event, as Phil was putting on his coat to head to the Principality Stadium, I asked him for his match prediction.  “Wales by 14 points,” he said.  Wales eventually won 27-13.  A pretty accurate prediction from an international coach with rugby running through his veins.

Photographs at the hospitality event were taken by Paul Fears Photography and can be viewed on his website.

Legends Hospitality is now taking bookings for pre-match hospitality prior to Wales playing England and Ireland in the 2017 Six Nations Championship.  For more information please contact Paul on:

Phone:  01656 782252 or 07768 418308

By email on: legends@hospitalityandleisure.co.uk

Or via our website

Legends Hospitality with Phil Davies