The English Premiership is one of the Iconic tournaments in World rugby, Neil Back (MBE) comments on the opening weekend Double Header!

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Neil Back a figure synonymous with elite performance. Over a 17 year playing career he represented England (c), The British and Irish Lions, Leicester Tigers(c) & Nottingham RFC. His many wins included every major honour in the game including the Rugby World Cup 2003, five Zurich Premierships as well as back to back Heineken Cups!

We caught up with Neil on Saturday morning before the London double header saw Saracens v Wasps & Harlequins v London Irish in action to decide just who at the start of the season is the hot ticket in London.

The sense of camaraderie and good interpersonal skills is a great trait of rugby and chatting to Neil this was evident from the start, no wonder he is in demand for speaking engagements, the London Double header captivates the imagination and is a superb opener to the Premiership season…………..

We begin with a few rapid fire questions:

Neil, what’s your favourite?

Colour? – RED

Food? – Seafood

Car? – I am an ambassador for Rybrook Cars so given that their dealerships range from providing Smart Cars right through to Bentleys, RR & McLaren I am in the lucky position of getting a chance to drive some of these, Cars being a particular passion of mine so the list of favourites is pretty long.

……Which leads us neatly into the superb sponsorship of the Premiership by Green Flag Breakdown Recovery, Neil, what has been the effect of the Green Flag sponsorship?

All sponsorships help the game, and the level of sponsorship from Green Flag has been so helpful and enthusiastic about rugby that they have actually put in place a range of activities at all 12 Premiership clubs at every game! In fact at Saturdays London Double Header Green Flag were really visible to 65,000+ fans and were providing practical advice to people about coping with a breakdown when it happens, there will be little doubt that some fans over the weekend will have experienced this! The benefit of their sponsorship means that fan engagement takes the priority, so they have sponsored the Drop Kick challenge where fans were given the opportunity to have a go at a Drop Kick in front of many supporters! Such an important thing in the game which is obviously really full on serious for the players but everyone can also keep that spirit of fun by having this challenge, that’s really important for everyone!

Now Neil, let’s get down to business! What’s happening in the Premiership?

Answer? Ok….. I believe 2 of the 4 London teams on show today will be in this at the end of this season competing for the main prize! Saracens have strength and depth, coupled with the infrastructure! Harlequins reached 2 finals last year, have recruited well during the summer months, including Yarde from today’s opposition. He has real X Factor, an incredible finisher which allied with Quins attack philosophy should mean that he gets plenty of ball in hand. He still needs to work on his game, core to this his defensive duties but playing against his old team on Saturday will bring that extra bit of emotion to the match!

From an England perspective, agreement has been reached so that the Elite Squad will not be announced until Oct which will give Lancaster the opportunity to pick on form, so expect big performances from the off!

London Irish & Wasps lack the financial clout of Saracens & Harlequins, for that reason I expect them to be battling around mid-table.

Finally Neil, what is the best advice you ever got?

Answer: Never Fail through lack of effort!

Neil Back, thank you!

To get InTouch with Neil and keep up to date you can visit his Official Website:

For more info on Green Flag >>

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