Special Six Nations Feature Segment for the 2020 Competition!

Bring the Rugby Six Nations Home with fantastic wall stickers and feature walls by Sports Photo Gallery With the Rugby’s Six Nations competition starting on 1st February what could be […]

Bring the Rugby Six Nations Home with fantastic wall stickers and feature walls by Sports Photo Gallery

With the Rugby’s Six Nations competition starting on 1st February what could be more inspiring for a sports fan than to have their favourite rugby stars in action on their bedroom wall.

Ideal for children’s bedrooms, playrooms and games rooms these iconic wall stickers and feature wall wallpapers from Sports Photo Gallery are perfect for rugby fans of all ages.

Competition and giveaways

We have a limited number of Rugby wall stickers and wallpapers to giveaway to your readers.

Sports Photo Gallery has a wide range wall stickers and feature wallpapers of some of the world’s most famous sporting stars from all sports. Check out our comprehensive sports calendar for 2020 which has the dates of all the major sporting events for 2020.

With the interior trend for feature walls, having your favourite sports star on the wall makes an exciting and dynamic focal point, setting the mood for the rest of the décor.

www.sportsphotogallery.com

Boom Creations

RUGBY MEMORY BOX FRAME


Keep all your precious memories and souvenirs in this amazing wall mounted scrap book!
The unique top loading frame allows you to store all your keepsakes in one safe place.
A unique gift for Keystone Birthdays, weddings, travel
Quality painted pine and acrylic

48cm x 48cm x 5cm
www.boomcreations.co.uk
Price: £40

RUGBY MEMORY BOX FRAME


Description: Keep all your precious memories and souvenirs in this amazing wall mounted scrap book!
The unique top loading frame allows you to store all your keepsakes in one safe place.
A unique gift for Keystone Birthdays, weddings, travel, sporting events, keep all your ticket stubs and programmes.

Quality painted pine and acrylic

48cm x 48cm x 5cm
www.boomcreations.co.uk
Price: £40

WEAR THE ROSE

Top row, from left to right:

Men’s England Vapodri Home Pro Jersey, white, £70 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s England Vapodri Home Long Sleeved Classic Jersey, white, £65 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s England Vapodri Alt Pro Jersey, red, £70 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s England Vapodri Alt Long Sleeved Classic Jersey, red, £65 available from www.canterbury.com

Bottom row, from left to right:

Men’s England Vapodri+ Drill Tee, red, £40 available from www.canterbury.com

Adult England Acrylic Bobble Hat, black, £14 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s England Thermoreg Overhead Hoody, black, £54 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s England Vapodri Cotton Pique Polo, black, £37 available from www.canterbury.com

TURN THE WORLD GREEN

Top row, from left to right:

Men’s Ireland Vapodri+ Home Pro Jersey, Green, £59.50 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s Ireland Vapodri Home Long Sleeved Classic Jersey, Green, £55.25 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s Ireland Vapodri+ Alt Pro Jersey, White, £59.50 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s Ireland Vapodri Alt Long Sleeved Classic Jersey, White, £55.25 available from www.canterbury.com

Bottom row, from left to right:

Men’s Ireland Vapodri Superlight Graphic Tee, Grey, £32 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s Ireland Thermoreg ¼ Zip Top, Grey, £58 available from www.canterbury.com

Adult Ireland Acrylic Bobble Hat, Grey, £14 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s Ireland Vapodri Pique Polo, Grey, £37 available from www.canterbury.com

GET OUT ON THE PITCH

Top from, from left to right:

Men’s Vapodri Evader Hooped Jersey, black and white, £37 available from www.canterbury.com

Reinforcer Headguard, blue, £50 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s Mercury TCR Compression Long Sleeved Top, black, £58 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s Elite Vapodri 1st Layer, grey, £45 available from www.canterbury.com

Bottom row, from left to right:

Men’s Vaposhield Tech Drill Top, black, £65 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s Vapodri Superlight Tee, pink, £24 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s Mercury TCR Compression Shorts, black, £37 available from www.canterbury.com

Men’s Overhead Fleece Hoody, blue, £40 available from www.canterbury.com

Home & Away: Celebrate the Six Nations with help from Google

With this year’s Six Nations in full swing, fans will be scrambling to catch the home nations play at Rugby’s Greatest Championship.

At Google, we know that this is one of the nation’s favourite sports events: Ahead of the tournament last year, searches for Six Nations on Google rose by 86% in February*, and with England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy taking part in 15 matches through February to March, rugby fever is set to grip the nation once again.

So if you’re working on a feature around how fans can make the most of an away-game trip or how those watching from home can keep on top of the event, you may be interested in including Google Pixel 4 and Nest Hub Max.

Tips for fans heading abroad to support….

Wandering foreign streets amongst a crush of fans can be stressful for those lucky enough to be heading out for the Six Nations. Whether you’re wearing red, blue, green or white, Google Pixel 4 is on hand to give you that bit of extra help.

AR Maps makes full use of your camera to help you explore in between matches. Simply enter your destination into Google Maps, select walking directions, hit “Start AR” and follow the floating arrows that pop-up on the screen. Full instructions here > support.google.com/maps/answer/9332056?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en

What’s more, Google Lens can help you translate street signs and bar menus to put errors in translation straight in the sin bin! Select Lens Google Lens in your camera app (to be found in camera settings under more) hover your phone over the text and it will be instantly translated. You can even use it on a menu to look up dishes and see what’s popular with reviews from Google Maps.

And sporting the colours of England, ‘Clearly White’ Pixel 4’s legendary camera means you can take crystal clear photos of your favourite stars in low light during night time matches as well in full motion. You can also snap stunning panoramic shots of the new city you’ve discovered.

Tips for fans supporting from home…

With Google Nest Hub Max (store.google.com/uk/product/google_nest_hub_max) those keeping on top of the action from home don’t need to feel left out.

Stay plugged in from your living room with YouTube by saying “Hey Google, show me highlights of the England vs. Italy match”. Or, if your significant other is a Rugby novice, teach them the basics of the game by saying “Hey Google, teach me the rules of Rugby” or “Hey Google, what’s a scrum?”. As inspiration a list of the most viewed YouTube Six Nations videos from last year can be found below.

You can also stream games live on the radio, set yourself reminders to watch matches, and even translate foreign player interviews. To understand Italian commentary, say “Ok Google, help me speak Italian” then repeat the sentence and watch the english pop up live on your Nest Hub Max display.

Finally, why not host a Six Nations party and play room filling music on Spotify or YouTube straight from the device.

Google Hardware Team

Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL

Price: From £669.00

Availability: Pixel 4 & 4 XL are available online and in store from Google store

Colours: Just Black, Clearly White, Oh So Orange (limited edition)

Google Nest Hub Max

Price: £219.00

Availability: Google Store

Colours: Chalk and Charcoal

Most viewed Rugby Six Nations videos in 2019:

Fastest rugby ball caught (BBC Six Nations) – As Seen on TV UK

2. Extended Highlights: England v Scotland | Guinness Six Nations

3. Highlights: Wales v England | Guinness Six Nations

4. Extended Highlights: Ireland v England | Guinness Six Nations

5. Short Highlights: England v Scotland

Henchman is a Lineout Hero

There’s a lot of strategy involved in rugby – and executing successful lineouts is a crucial element of game-winning play.

www.henchman.co.uk

Wasps Lineout Training

FACEBOOK | TWITTER

Here at Henchman we hit the headlines during the recent Rugby World Cup in Japan when it was revealed that the England team’s ‘secret weapon’ was a tripod ladder, gifted to forward’s coach Steve Borthwick and his squad during the earlier six Nations tournament by our managing director Tom Kitching. He’d seen video footage of a forwards coach wobbling on a traditional step ladder and immediately dispatched a 10ft Henchman tripod to the England training camp at Pennyhill Park. They were so impressed with its performance they made sure they had a tripod available for them in Japan.
Henchman tripod ladders have a wide stable base with splayed feet to prevent sudden sinking in to grass. Their broad platform ‘crow’s nest’ with a top safety rail designed specifically to be leaned into, ensure a safe and stable training platform for even the most vigorous line-out practice.
England got all the way to the final, and as a result of the positive feedback we received, we offered Henchman to all the Gallagher Premiership rugby teams. London Wasps, Northampton Saints, Saracens, Sale Sharks and Gloucester all leaped at the chance to get their hands on one!
It’s no coincidence that three out of the four teams currently topping the league – Northampton, Gloucester and Sale ( placed at 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively as at 5 January) all use Henchman tripod ladders in their line-out practice sessions and the benefit is clearly reflected in their 2020 performances so far. Well done guys!
If it wasn’t for the RFU imposed 35-point deduction following the salary cap hearing, Saracens would be topping the table and Wasps have put in some strong line-out performances too.

England Rugby Training

Wasps Lineout Training

Former rugby union player Will Greenwood shares his deathwishes
What would your deathwishes be?

www.deadhappy.com

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | YOUTUBE

One of England’s greatest ever rugby union players Will Greenwood, has joined the DeadHappy movement that’s getting people to think about what they want to happen when they die.

From freeing all rugby clubs of parking attendants to having Peter Kay entertain the guests at his funeral, Will wants everyone to know what his deathwishes are.

What are deathwishes? Well, they’re DeadHappy’s way of encouraging people to think about and talk about death with their family and friends. Death will happen to everyone, but at least this way it means that the people left behind will know what their loved one wanted to happen once they were gone.

What would your deathwishes be?

www.deadhappy.com

About DeadHappy

DeadHappy is the UK’s first fully digital pay-as-you-go life insurance provider. Its PAYG life insurance policies are designed to be cheaper, easier and better than existing traditional providers. As a result, the company is on a mission to make it simpler for everyone, particularly the 8.1 million Brits1 who don’t have life insurance, to get protection that meets their needs at the right price. Its ‘Deathwishes’ also help people personalise their life insurance by expressing what they want to happen when they die ​– ​ from being able to pay off their mortgage to funding a wake party in Ibiza for their friends.

DeadHappy is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – the independent body which regulates firms working in financial services. The company is also supported by strategic partnerships with industry heavyweights including Covéa and GenRe.

To find out more about DeadHappy and personalised life insurance, including deathwishes, check out deadhappy.com.

RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP 2021 LAUNCHES GROUNDBREAKING MENTAL FITNESS CHARTER

Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) has today [16th January] become the first major international sporting event to launch a Mental Fitness Charter.

As part of the five-point charter, RLWC2021 has made a commitment that by the final game of the tournament, it will have trained every player, team official, match official, teammate and volunteer to look after their own mental fitness and that of those around them.

The groundbreaking programme was launched with a short film which features ex-England and Leeds Rhinos player Lois Forsell, who talks about her personal journey with mental fitness following a career-changing injury and how rugby league helped her. The Duke of Sussex, Patron of the Rugby Football League, also lends his support to the Charter.

RLWC2021 will also teach young people about the importance of looking after their own mental fitness and deliver awareness-raising workshops to 8,000 young rugby league players and their parents and families.

At a grass roots level, coaches will be trained to continue to deliver mental fitness workshops to ensure a sustainable tournament legacy.

The five-point Charter builds on the work already being done within the rugby league community, through the likes of sports charity, Rugby League Cares, in the form of health initiatives and education sessions.

Chief Executive of RLWC2021, Jon Dutton said: “At RLWC2021, we want to use the platform we have within sport to help highlight the importance of taking care of both your mental and physical health. We’re certain of having world-class action on the pitch during the tournament and with millions of viewers tuned in from around the globe, our mental fitness campaign will create a lasting impact across the globe in helping rugby league communities get ahead of the game.

“We’re the first major international sporting event to introduce a Mental Fitness Charter and are determined to make a real impact with people both inside and outside of rugby league, and help to set a precedent for how sporting events can make real change within the communities where they operate.”

In a video message recorded for the launch of the Mental Fitness Charter, The Duke of Sussex, added: “Rugby League isn’t just a sport, it’s a community. And one that takes care of its own. For many years, it has been at the forefront of promoting and supporting good mental fitness, working hard to build a positive mindset for everyone involved in the sport.

“So, I am proud to support the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Mental Fitness Charter.

“This Charter will build on the brilliant work already happening in rugby league by committing to training and educating all those involved in the tournament, and the wider rugby league family, not only in how they can look after their own mental fitness but also support others to do the same.”

RLWC2021 will be the first time the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions have been staged in a single celebratory event, culminating in an epic finals weekend to crown the champions of each tournament.

The tournament will take place between 23rd October and 27th November 2021 across 16 host cities in England, predominantly in the north.

For more information on RLWC2021 and its pledge to tackling mental health, visit www.rlwc2021.com

NATIONS DISCOVER THEIR ROUTE TO GLORY AS RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP 2021 DRAWS COMPLETED

· England men’s team to kick-off tournament against Samoa at St James’ Park, Newcastle on October 23, 2021

· England women’s team will take on Brazil on November 9, 2021 in Leeds with the England wheelchair team drawn to face Australia on November 11, 2021 in London

The three draws for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) took place at Buckingham Palace today (Thursday 16 January), where each competing nation in the respective men’s, women’s and wheelchair events learnt their group opponents.

Conducted by HRH The Duke of Sussex, Head of UK Sport, Dame Katherine Granger DBE and RLWC2021 International Ambassador and rugby league legend Jason Robinson OBE, the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments’ draws were completed concurrently at the iconic venue.

England men’s team will kick the tournament off against Samoa in a blockbuster opening fixture at St James Park, Newcastle on October 23, 2021. They will be joined by France and Greece in Group A. The full list of groups is as follows:

Group A

· England

· Samoa

· France

· Greece

Group B

· Australia

· Fiji

· Scotland

· Italy

Group C

· New Zealand

· Lebanon

· Jamaica

· Ireland

Group D

· Tonga

· PNG

· Wales

· Cook Islands

England’s women’s team play their first match on November 9, 2021 against Brazil, in front of what will be a packed house at the Emerald Headingley Stadium, Leeds. Their remaining group fixtures will see them play PNG and Canada. The full list of groups is as follows:

Group A

· England

· PNG

· Canada

· Brazil

Group B

· Australia

· New Zealand

· France

· Cook Islands

The wheelchair draw followed the same format as the women’s, resulting with hosts England being drawn alongside Spain and Norway in Group A. Their opening fixture will be against Australia on November 11, 2021 at The Copper Box Arena, London. The full list of groups is as follows:

Group A

· England

· Australia

· Spain

· Norway

Group B

· France

· Wales

· Scotland

· USA

Jon Dutton, Chief Executive at RLWC2021 commented:

“The draws have been a fantastic example of where this tournament is aiming to be in 2021. We want to deliver a truly world class event next year and we’re really excited by the first three fixtures that have come out from today’s draws.”

“We look forward to announcing the full schedule of games along with ticket prices in the next few months. We are hugely excited to welcome the competing nations to what will be the pinnacle of rugby league competition as we look to deliver the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup of all time.”

The RLWC2021 draws were overseen by an external observer from Deloitte to ensure all procedures were followed correctly.

Follow all the latest updates via www.RLWC2021.com and the official social media channels, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

WATCH THE SIX NATIONS WITH A FREE GUINNESS IN HAND AT YOUNG’S PUBS

Check out this handy guide to the best Young’s pubs to catch all the live action from the Six Nations. As well as giant screens, private rooms and unrestricted viewing areas, Young’s have teamed up with Championship headline sponsor, Guinness, to offer fans a free round of stout when booking a table of four or more to dine during a match.*

The celebration continues with Young’s offering fans a chance to win ‘The Ultimate Guinness Six Nations Experience’. Rugby enthusiasts won’t want to miss out on this prize including a complimentary brunch with English rugby legend, Andy Goode, and a pair of tickets and private transfer to watch the Ireland v England game at Twickenham Stadium. Just head on over to the Young’s Facebook page and enter from now until 9th February.*

Central London

The Phoenix, Victoria

14 Palace St, Westminster, SW1E 5JA, www.thephoenixinvictoria.co.uk

Just 5 minutes from Victoria Station, this lively gastro pub offers a fantastic viewing experience. Grab a spot in front of the pub’s two large screens for supreme viewing of this year’s Guinness Six Nations. The Phoenix are also offering table service for groups booking ahead of the game so book in early!

To make a booking email phoenixvictoriaevents@youngs.co.uk or call on T: 020 7828 8136

East London

Leman Street Tavern, Aldgate East

31 Leman St, Whitechapel, E1 8PT, www.lemanstreettavern.co.uk

An East London gem, the Leman Street Tavern offers a vibrant and lively atmosphere to city workers, Londoners and tourists alike. Settle down in front of the main screen to watch the Guinness Six Nations with a pint and great British pub food.

To make a booking email lstevents@youngs.co.uk or call at T: 020 3437 0001

North London

The Canonbury Tavern, Islington

21 Canonbury Pl, N1 2NS, www.thecanonbury.co.uk

Serving London locals as a public house since the early 1700’s, The Canonbury Tavern boasts a rich and vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy cask ale, fine wines and a seasonal British menu whilst watching the Guinness Six Nations on one of the pub’s four screens.

To make a booking email canonburyevents@youngs.co.uk or call on T: 0207 7042 887

South East London

The Coach & Horses, Greenwich

Greenwich Market, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 9HZ, www.the-coach-and-horses.co.uk

Situated in the heart of Greenwich Market, feel part of the action in this bustling pub. With two screens, The Coach & Horses is offering delicious sharing boards and hearty mains, dive into a delicious menu whilst watching the scrum.

To make a booking email coachandhorsesgreenwich@youngs.co.uk or call on T: 020 8293 0880

South West London

The Manor Arms, Streatham

13 Mitcham Ln, Streatham, SW16 6LQ, www.themanorarms.com

Located just a stone’s throw away from Streatham station, The Manor Arms offers the community a modern and welcoming local with bags of character. Kitted out with six screens, The Manor Arms is sure to be full of atmosphere.

To make a booking email manorarms@youngs.co.uk or call on T: 020 3195 6888

Dog & Fox, Wimbledon

24 High Street Wimbledon, Wimbledon, SW195EA www.dogandfoxwimbledon.co.uk

Following a magnificent refurbishment throughout, and with a cosy atmosphere, this local is ready to be discovered by rugby fans. Tuck into a carefully crafted menu from the classic Dog & Fox burger to scrumptious seasonal vegan dishes, whilst settling in front of the big screen for an evening of tremendous anticipation.

To make a booking email dogandfox@youngs.co.uk or call on T: 020 8946 6565

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY STARS CYCLE 500 MILES IN 48 HOURS WITH 6 NATIONS MATCH BALL FOR CHARITY FUNDRAISER

In support of Doddie Weir and Tom Smith, a charity cycle team led by former Scotland Captain and British & Irish Lion, Rob Wainwright, is cycling from Twickenham Stadium, London to BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh 6-8th February 2020.

Setting off on 6 February, the Wounded Lions 500, which includes international rugby players and endurance cyclists, will pedal for 48 hours, arriving in time to deliver the match ball for kick-off at Scotland vs England match at 4.45 pm on 8th February 2020.

Other players joining the challenge include John Hall, England International; Paddy Johns, Ireland International; Paul Volley, Wasps legend – all completing the full 500 miles. John Barclay, former Scotland and current Edinburgh flanker; Kelly Brown, Scotland International; Roger Arneil, Scotland International; England International; Paul Wallace, Ireland International; Peter Winterbottom, England International; Damian Cronin, Scotland International and Paul Burnell, also Scotland, will all be taking part during various stages.

The team is aiming to raise over £100,000 for two charities close to the hearts of all involved and is also being supported by Neubria – creators of a range of plant-based supplements that are rooted in science and proven to support brain health. Crerar Hotels, a luxury hotel chain based in Scotland, and Fosroc, provider of high-quality construction solutions, are among the other generous sponsors.

My Name’s Doddie Foundation, founded by former Scotland International and Lion, Doddie Weir, which was set up in 2017 following his Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis to fund research for a cure to the devastating disease.

40tude was selected by Tom Smith, a former 61 cap Scottish International and two-time Lions Tourist who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 Colon Cancer. 40tude helps to fund pioneering research projects, targeted at the early diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer.

Rob Wainwright commented: “I’m hugely honoured to have played for Scotland and the Lions alongside Doddie and Tom. Both are top men and both have tragically hit hard times with their health recently. Whilst we cannot heal them, we can point our bikes north for 48 hours and inspired by their fortitude and courage in the face of huge adversity. Two very different characters, but legends the twain. We aim to beat last year’s £65k fundraising total, and help improve both the treatment and the prognosis for MND and Colon Cancer.”

Jonny Kennedy — who was forced to quit rugby professionally after a series of punishing concussions and the founder and brainchild behind Neubria adds: “We are thrilled and immensely proud to be involved with the Wounded Lions 500 charity cycle team . It means a lot to myself personally and everyone involved with this venture. It is a real honour to be part of such a brilliant initiative.”

Crerar Hotels Chief Executive Paddy Crerar CBE added, “‘spirorad na h-Alba,’ or ‘spirit of Scotland,’ is our company motto. If anyone is the embodiment of the Scottish spirit it’s Doddie. An authentic man with a great heart, humour and real determination – we are all with him, as one.”

This is the second year that the ride has taken place, having raised £65k in 2019. Riders last year averaged 2 hours of sleep across 48 hours during the gruelling challenge, which saw them maintain speeds of 15mph in order to deliver the match ball on time. This year’s ride will be split into legs with short breaks at rugby clubs throughout the UK, including professional side Northampton Saints, former club of Tom.
Cyclists are warmly welcomed to support the team and join the ride for as much of the route as they wish with a donation of £1 per mile. However, please note that the ride is unsupported and pirate code will apply after the first 50 miles. More details of the route and timings are available on the website here: woundedlions500.co.uk/
All donations make an important difference and can be made on the Wounded Lions 500 fundraising page here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/WoundedLions500

O2 LAUNCHES BRAND-NEW WEAR THE ROSE CAMPAIGN FOLLOWING SIX NATIONS KICK OFF

· O2 campaign features all new creative with an equal split of rugby players from the men’s England Rugby team and Red Roses.

· Campaign set to inspire and reach a new generation of fans to get together and #WearTheRose

· Rugby legend James Haskell joins popular series O2 Inside Line as a new host alongside Vernon Kay, with the first episode going live this evening

Monday 3rd February 2020: O2 launches a brand-new Wear the Rose campaign as the start of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations tournament has begun, with a refreshed creative featuring an equal split of rugby players from the England Rugby Men’s and Women’s teams, including Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Kyle Sinckler, Lydia Thompson, Sarah Bern and Zoe Harrison, .

The campaign builds on O2’s Wear the Rose movement and follows on from the recent successes of both teams; O2 sets to continue to inspire fans of all ages and backgrounds to come together to Wear the Rose. As lead partner for England Rugby, it also aims to connect with more people through its grassroots rugby programme, O2 Touch, with a community now of 32,000 players enjoying the sport across 500 centres nationwide – with an ambition to grow this further in the coming year.

To celebrate the tournament, popular series O2 Inside Line see’s new arrival, rugby legend James Haskell joining as host alongside Vernon Kay, with behind the scenes access to the training camps available live on England Rugby’s Facebook page each week. The first episode will go live this evening.

What’s more, O2 customers can enjoy invite-only perks, content and experiences on the Priority app, including once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, such as the chance to go on tour with the team to Japan in the summer and Priority Tickets to all home games.

Gareth Griffiths, Head of Sponsorship O2, said: “We’ve been side by side with England Rugby for 25 years and we’re proud to continue our unwavering support and love for the game with more experiences than ever in Priority for O2 customers. With our new campaign we hope to excite fans, whether they’re new to the sport or a lifelong supporter, to get together and Wear the Rose.”

For more information, visit: https://www.o2.co.uk/sponsorship/england-rugby or follow @O2Sports on Instagram and Twitter using #WearTheRose

Young Berkshire mother with life-changing rugby injury rebuilds life thanks to enabling homelift

Stiltz -Dani Watts – Woodley

Following a severe rugby injury, Dani Watts, 31 and fulltime wheelchair user, has regained the ability to independently support her family thanks to a new generation of homelift.

Dani from Wokingham, Berkshire, took up rugby at the age of 25 and instantly fell in love with the sport. Two years later during a match for Reading-based club Rams RFC, Dani’s back was broken during a tackle which left her with a T10 spinal injury. Dani, who has two children, Lillie-Rose (nine) and Freddie (seven) spent six months in hospital and now uses a manual wheelchair. Dani suffers with severe nerve pain but has worked extremely hard to get her life back on track.

Dani said: “It has been a very difficult time and I just want the ability to carry out ‘normal’ everyday tasks for my family and to get back to work. I have never known life any other way and I’ve always had a busy work life. Before retraining to becoming a personal trainer (PT), I was a police officer. I have two young children to look after and life is pretty hectic!”

The RFU Injured Players Foundation has played a huge part in Dani’s life since her injury. They donated £246,000 towards her new accessible home, she also received additional £140K from Rams RFU and £100K from a kind-hearted PT client. “You don’t know what charity is until you are on the receiving end. It was the most amazing example of humanity I have ever seen; people do actually care”. With the financial support received, Dani and her family were able to buy their own home and convert it, so it was fully wheelchair accessible.

The Stiltz Homelift was installed in the dining room and goes directly to the bedroom. “For nine months my partner Pete had to give me a piggyback upstairs! Not only is this bad for his health, but it’s extremely undignified for me. I don’t know what I would do without the Stiltz Homelift. Independence is such a fundamental need, no one should feel like a burden to anyone else”.

Dani continues, “I can go to bed when I like, have a bath when I like…my independence is my life and that’s what my Stiltz Homelift has given me. Also, we have talked about having another baby, so a homelift would be essential for me to safely move between floors”.

It has taken two years, but Dani is getting her career as a PT back on track. She has several clients and is about to start working with Rams RFU providing group strengthening classes which can help players avoid injury. She is heavily involved with the club and attends every home game.

Dani concludes: “Pete plays for the men’s team and both of my children joined the Junior Rams, even after my injury. At first my daughter was nervous, but sport is such a huge part of our lives, and now they love it as much as I do, which is something I am hugely proud of. My plan is to show my children what is possible when you have independence and determination”.

To thank the RFU IPF for all their support, Dani is aiming to raise £10,000 in the 2020 London Marathon where both her and partner Pete will compete in a wheelchair.

ENGLAND RUGBY FAMILY KICKS-OFF NEW COFFEE SHOP WITH HSBC UK FUNDING

(l-r) Kobe Coffee owners George Ford, Mike Ford & Joe Ford

Renowned Leicester Tigers and Yorkshire Carnegie rugby players George and Joe Ford have opened a new coffee shop in Saddleworth, Oldham, with the support of a £97,000 funding package from HSBC UK.

Located on the site of a former fish and chip restaurant, the Ford brothers have transformed the premises into Kobe Coffee, an independent café and restaurant serving ethically-sourced coffee and locally-supplied meat, fruit, veg and bread.

The brothers used the funding package from HSBC UK to support the purchase and fit-out the new coffee shop, creating five new jobs in the process with plans to employ more staff across a variety of roles in the near future.

George Ford, Owner of Kobe Coffee, said:

“With HSBC UK’s support we’ve been able to create an exciting business and a specialist coffee shop for the high street. We look forward to creating a friendly, sophisticated environment for everyone to enjoy, expertly crafted around a passion for coffee and food from across the region.”

Gregor Johnstone, Relationship Manager for Business Banking, HSBC UK, added:

“It’s an exciting draw to have such a well-known sporting family bring a new hospitality offering to the region. George and Joe have worked incredibly hard to start their new business and Kobe Coffee is already demonstrating its potential for high quality service to its new customers.’’

Kobe Coffee partners with Outpost Coffee Roasters, an organisation that works with indigenous communities that are charged with protecting the South American Rainforest. Outpost provide support for growers with farming and processing practices.

This funding for coffee shop was part of HSBC UK’s £1.05 billion lending fund for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the North West.

Rugby Beer Festival Fundraiser Returns to Aireborough

A beer festival which last year raised over £3000 for amateur rugby club, Aireborough RUFC is to be held again in order to fund further developments of the club’s facilities.

Taking place between the 7 and 8 February 2020 at Aireborough RUFC Yeadon, the beer festival – held in cooperation with Coopers Guiseley- will feature a selection of over 20 real ales and ciders and a wide selection of gin.

Organised especially to coincide with the Six Nations Rugby, the beer festival will also provide attendees the chance to watch important games from the annual competition.

Both the Wales vs Ireland game at 2.15 pm and the England vs Scotland game at 4.45 pm will be shown live on TV on Saturday 8 February.

Plus, Aireborough 1st XV will welcome Harrogate Pythons on the Saturday for a Yorkshire 3 game, with an earlier than normal kick-off of 12.30 pm.

Brainchild of the beer festival Rob Rattray said: “Aireborough RUFC has always been a community club with a thriving junior section, and we always look forward to welcoming new people.

The beer festival not only provides the chance for new people to join us and celebrate great rugby with great beer, but it also unites the community and raises vital funds for the club.”

Aireborough RUFC chairman added: “After the success of last year’s beer festival, I am delighted that Rob and the team have decided to organise another one this year.

“Rugby is, and will continue to be, a huge part of my life, and to see so many businesses and members of the community come along to celebrate with us really warms my heart.”

Doors to the beer festival will open at 6 pm on Friday 7 February and close at 11 pm, before reopening at 1 pm on Saturday 8 February and ending at 11 pm.

Entry will be charged at £5 per person, which includes a glass, 2 beer tokens and a program, with additional tokens being available at 5 for £5.

Each £1 token can be used to purchase half a pint of ale or cider, but for those who fancy a little more, pints can be purchased with 2 tokens, as can gin.

To find out more about the beer festival, please visit @aireboroughrufc on Facebook.

Eurostar to host exclusive ‘meet and greet’ with former rugby England captain Dylan Hartley

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service linking the UK and mainland Europe, is hosting former England rugby captain Dylan Hartley in an exclusive ‘meet and greet’ to give rugby fans booked to travel on Eurostar to the Six Nations game in Paris a trip to remember.

Rugby fans booked on the 11:15 Eurostar to Paris on Saturday 1st February ahead of the England v France match at the Stade de France in Paris can kick-off their rugby weekend by winning a place on board an exclusive coach where Dylan Hartley will be answering questions on his career over the years.

Travellers with a ticket on that service can be in with a chance of joining Dylan on board by replying to posts about the meet and greet on Eurostar’s Twitter and Instagram accounts. The winners will be selected at random and notified before their journey. Entrants are available from Monday 27th January to Wednesday 29th January, and tickets for the 11:15 train are still available for booking for those looking to enter but without a ticket yet.

Dylan Hartley led the England team to victory in the 2016 Six Nations Grand Slam, and after retiring from professional rugby in November 2019, he will now be commentating for the England v France game on Sunday.

For rugby fans looking to travel to Paris over the weekend, a Eurostar journey emits up to 90% less carbon emissions than the equivalent short-haul flight – making it the most sustainable way to travel to the Six Nations game.

For more information or to book Eurostar tickets, visit Eurostar.com or call the Eurostar contact centre on 08432 186186.

Get Inspired for Rugby with Canterbury


T-SHIRTS AND VESTS

Canterbury vapodri superlight tee, everglade, £22 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury colour block logo tee, classic marl, £20 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury core vapodri superlight graphic tee, beetroot purple, £24 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury colour block logo tee, potent purple, £20 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury vapodri poly singlet, meteorite, £20 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury core vapodri superlight graphic tee, poseidon, £22 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

HOODIES AND JACKETS

Canterbury overhead fleece hoody, meteorite, £40 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury elite vapodri 1st layer, petrol marl, £32 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury core vapodri superlight graphic tee, beetroot purple, £45 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury vapodri lightweight training jacket, petrol marl, £60 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury zip thru fleece hoody, Poseidon, £45 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury vapodri training hoody, potent purple, £42 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

SHORTS

Canterbury vapodri stretch knit grip short, potent purple, £25 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury vapodri stretch knit short, everglade, £25 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury vapodri stretch knit short, poseidon, £25 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury vapodri stretch knit short, potent purple, £25 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

KIDS

Canterbury kids stretch knit grip shorts, meteorite, £18 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury kids large logo tee, poseidon, £16 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury kids CCC logo tee, white, £14 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury kids 1st layer top, potent purple, £26 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury kids small logo tee, blue aster, £16 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Canterbury kids stretch knit shorts, poseidon, £18 available from www.canterbury.co.uk

Bring the Rugby Six Nations Home with fantastic wall stickers and feature walls by Sports Photo Gallery

With the Rugby’s Six Nations competition starting on 1st February what could be more inspiring for a sports fan than to have their favourite rugby stars in action on their bedroom wall.

Ideal for children’s bedrooms, playrooms and games rooms these iconic wall stickers and feature wall wallpapers from Sports Photo Gallery are perfect for rugby fans of all ages.

Sports Photo Gallery has a wide range wall stickers and feature wallpapers of some of the world’s most famous sporting stars from all sports. Check out our comprehensive sports calendar for 2020 which has the dates of all the major sporting events for 2020.

With the interior trend for feature walls, having your favourite sports star on the wall makes an exciting and dynamic focal point, setting the mood for the rest of the décor.

Saracens saga specials and Six Nations odds – Betway

Betway’s Chad Yeomans said: “As the Six Nations kicks off this weekend, World Cup finalists England are odds-on favourites to win the championship at 8/11.

“Ireland, Wales and France all enter the five-round competition with new head coaches and are priced at 7/2, 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. The Scots who have lost their talisman Finn Russell can be backed at 25/1 to lift the coveted trophy, with serial wooden spoon winners Italy the rank outsiders at 1000/1.”

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY STARS CYCLE 500 MILES IN 48 HOURS WITH 6 NATIONS MATCH BALL FOR CHARITY FUNDRAISER

In support of Doddie Weir and Tom Smith, a charity cycle team led by former Scotland Captain and British & Irish Lion, Rob Wainwright, is cycling from Twickenham Stadium, London to BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh 6-8th February 2020.

Setting off on 6 February, the Wounded Lions 500, which includes international rugby players and endurance cyclists, will pedal for 48 hours, arriving in time to deliver the match ball for kick-off at Scotland vs England match at 4.45 pm on 8th February 2020.

Other players joining the challenge include John Hall, England International; Paddy Johns, Ireland International; Paul Volley, Wasps legend – all completing the full 500 miles. John Barclay, former Scotland and current Edinburgh flanker; Kelly Brown, Scotland International; Roger Arneil, Scotland International; England International; Paul Wallace, Ireland International; Peter Winterbottom, England International; Damian Cronin, Scotland International and Paul Burnell, also Scotland, will all be taking part during various stages.

The team is aiming to raise over £100,000 for two charities close to the hearts of all involved and is also being supported by Neubria – creators of a range of plant-based supplements that are rooted in science and proven to support brain health. Crerar Hotels, a luxury hotel chain based in Scotland, and Fosroc, provider of high-quality construction solutions, are among the other generous sponsors.

My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, founded by former Scotland International and Lion, Doddie Weir, which was set up in 2017 following his Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis to fund research for a cure to the devastating disease.

40tude was selected by Tom Smith, a former 61 cap Scottish International and two-time Lions Tourist who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 Colon Cancer. 40tude helps to fund pioneering research projects, targeted at the early diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer.

Rob Wainwright commented: “I’m hugely honoured to have played for Scotland and the Lions alongside Doddie and Tom. Both are top men and both have tragically hit hard times with their health recently. Whilst we cannot heal them, we can point our bikes north for 48 hours and inspired by their fortitude and courage in the face of huge adversity. Two very different characters, but legends the twain. We aim to beat last year’s £65k fundraising total, and help improve both the treatment and the prognosis for MND and Colon Cancer.”

Jonny Kennedy — who was forced to quit rugby professionally after a series of punishing concussions and the founder and brainchild behind Neubria adds: “We are thrilled and immensely proud to be involved with the Wounded Lions 500 charity cycle team. It means a lot to myself personally and everyone involved with this venture. It is a real honour to be part of such a brilliant initiative.”

Crerar Hotels Chief Executive Paddy Crerar CBE added, “‘spirorad na h-Alba,’ or ‘spirit of Scotland,’ is our company motto. If anyone is the embodiment of the Scottish spirit it’s Doddie. An authentic man with a great heart, humour and real determination – we are all with him, as one.”

This is the second year that the ride has taken place, having raised £65k in 2019. Riders last year averaged 2 hours of sleep across 48 hours during the gruelling challenge, which saw them maintain speeds of 15mph in order to deliver the match ball on time. This year’s ride will be split into legs with short breaks at rugby clubs throughout the UK, including professional side Northampton Saints, former club of Tom.

Cyclists are warmly welcomed to support the team and join the ride for as much of the route as they wish with a donation of £1 per mile. However, please note that the ride is unsupported and pirate code will apply after the first 50 miles. More details of the route and timings are available on the website here: woundedlions500.co.uk/

All donations make an important difference and can be made on the Wounded Lions 500 fundraising page here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/WoundedLions500

Johnnie Walker raises a glass to the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS

As rugby fans get ready for the highly anticipated Calcutta Cup kick off this weekend (Saturday 8 February), Johnnie Walker has unveiled a special line up of GUINNESS SIX NATIONS themed highballs to toast the Championship. 

As the Official Whisky of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS, Johnnie Walker has created a collection of rugby themed highballs for fans to try at home, with the serves paying homage to each of the competing Six Nations.

Unveiled ahead of the Scotland vs. England clash this weekend, the easy-to-make serves have been cleverly crafted by Johnnie Walker ambassador, Ali Reynolds.  

He said, “The GUINNESS SIX NATIONS is a hugely anticipated event in the rugby calendar, and as the Official Whisky of the Championship it was only right that we got into the sporting spirit. Our Johnnie Walker Highballs are a great way to introduce rugby fans to whisky, and our special serves can be made at home – no matter the team you’re cheering on.”

In preparation for the Auld Enemy clash at BT Murrayfield Stadium, the Scotland and England highballs are the perfect serves for rival fans watching the match this weekend. 

From the home of Johnnie Walker, the Scotland Highball features the classic combination of Johnnie Walker Black Label and Ginger Ale, topped with a splash of Ginger Wine and a patriotic thistle garnish. Bringing out the floral notes of the whisky, the England Highball includes a sweet Elderflower Cordial and is finished with a delicate rose petal garnish – giving a nod to the country’s national emblem. 

The GUINNESS SIX NATIONS themed Johnnie Walker Highball collection also includes a refreshing Italy serve, with San Pellegrino Lemon, a dash of Campari and finished with a twist of lemon, with the France Highball complete with Lemonade and a White Wine float. 

In collaboration with Game of Thrones and HBO, Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire is emblazoned with the House Targaryen sigil, the dragon – making it the perfect blend for the Wales Highball. Paying homage to the proud Welsh dragon, the fiery highball includes Ginger Beer, a dash of lime juice and a garnish of flamed cinnamon dust. 

For Ireland, the Scotch whisky is complemented with ice cold Coca Cola, with a splash of Guinness on top to garnish. 

Be sure the join the conversation @johnniewalkereu, using the hashtags #GuinnessSixNations #G6N #JohnnieWalker. 

ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH FANS TO FACE ULTIMATE CHALLENGE IN THE CALCUTTA SAS BOOTCAMP

Rugby fan and TV personality Mark Wright will go head to head with Scottish rugby legend Jim Hamilton in the ultimate fitness test – as GUINNESS presents the ‘Calcutta SAS Bootcamp’ – on the morning of rugby’s oldest rivalry

Six Nations Title Partner GUINNESS is calling on fans to represent either Team Scotland or Team England in the SAS inspired bootcamp ahead of the Calcutta Cup on 8th February

Team England will be captained by rugby fan Mark Wright, whilst Team Scotland will be captained by Scottish rugby legend Jim Hamilton. The session will be led by Esmée Gummer, PT to the stars and one of the first female contestants who appeared in the SAS: Who Dares Wins series

The Calcutta SAS Bootcamp is part of a host of experiences The GUINNESS Team is putting on to celebrate the friendly rivalry that binds each nation together in the union of rugby, as they encourage fans to come as rivals and leave as friends

Six Nations Title Partner GUINNESS presents the ‘Calcutta SAS Bootcamp’, a competitive SAS inspired fitness session which will see TV personality and rugby fan Mark Wright lead a team of English fans against rugby legend Jim Hamilton and his team of Scots.

As Scotland and England prepare for the Calcutta Cup, rugby’s oldest rivalry, the hotly contested SAS style bootcamp will take place less than a mile away from the famous turf of BT Murrayfield. Each team will battle it out in a series of exercises inspired by Esmée’s experience as a personal trainer to the stars, and Jim Hamilton’s time as a rugby player. A chosen winner of either Team England or Team Scotland will also be given the money can’t buy opportunity to carry out the official coin toss ahead of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS contest.

GUINNESS are inviting English and Scottish fans who believe they can carry their nation to glory, to apply for a place on Team England or Team Scotland. With exercises including rugby tackling pad work, tug of war and tyre throwing, the hour-long ‘Calcutta SAS Bootcamp’ is not for the faint hearted, but will stoke the friendly rivalries felt between Scotland and its southerly neighbour.

This session will bring the rivalry of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS to new fields of contest, as fans, celebrities and ex-players come together to settle scores in the spirt of friendly rivalry. Whatever the outcome, both teams will go on to watch the match and enjoy a pint of GUINNESS with the opposition, ensuring they come as rivals but leave as friends.

Niall Mckee, Head of Guinness Stout Europe said, “We’re using this year’s Championship as an opportunity to show how bonds forged through Rugby Union’s greatest rivalries can bring us all closer together.

Fitness felt like the perfect example of a way to do this. As such, we’re offering fans from Scotland and England the chance to prove what they’re made of as GUINNESS presents the ‘Calcutta SAS Bootcamp’, before the players take to the pitch in round two of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS.”

Mark Wright said, “I’m naturally a competitive person when it comes to exercise, so mix this competitiveness with the friendly rivalry which Scottish and English rugby fans experience and it’s sure to be a fun morning!

As captain of Team England, I’m ready to take on Jim Hamilton and his team of Scots, in the ‘Calcutta SAS Bootcamp’. My main priority it to take home the victory and then we can share a well-earned pint of GUINNESS during the Scotland vs England GUINNESS SIX NATIONS clash.”

Jim Hamilton, Scottish Rugby Legend said “I’ve played England on a number of occasions and have experienced first-hand the passion and competitiveness that comes with this great rivalry.

I have no doubt the fans who take part in the ‘Calcutta SAS Bootcamp’, will get just as much joy out of this friendly rivalry as I did. Personally, for me, I’m excited for the intensity of the session, followed by that well-earned pint of GUINNESS!

Esmée Gummer said, “You’re only as strong as your weakest player!

So, as a qualified personal trainer and having experienced the type of training the SAS go through, these experiences have made me realise how powerful exercise can be in bringing people together.

I’ve used these experiences to create an SAS style bootcamp that will not only challenge you physically but also mentally. The chosen fans will need to come together as a team and help each other pull through more than ever before. By the end of the session I’m sure they’ll be sharing a pint of GUINNESS together as one group.

Whatever the outcome, I’m expecting the rivalry that we see on the rugby pitch to be just as intense off it!”

The ‘Calcutta SAS Bootcamp’ is the first of a series of experiences that The GUINNESS Team is putting on to celebrate the friendly rivalries across the union of rugby. The Title Partner is inviting spectators across the home nations to come as rivals but leave as friends throughout the fierce competitiveness of the Championship over the next two months.

To be in with a chance of representing your nation in the ‘Calcutta SAS Bootcamp’ on the 8th February, along with a stay in a chosen hotel the night before (7th February 2020), head to www.guinness.com/en-gb/rugby-guinness-six-nations/ from 6pm on the 29th January to find out more.

Entrants will need to state their Date of Birth, Full Name, Contact Details, Place of Travel and one reason why they believe they should be chosen to represent their nation. You can either sign up on your own, or sign up with a friend from your rival nation to settle an old score! Spaces are limited and the lucky winners will be chosen by 3rd February.

SCORE A TRY WITH ALDI’S SIX NATIONS CLOTHING RANGE


Kick off match-day celebrations and look the part with Aldi’s licensed Six Nations clothing range. Fans can kit out the whole family at an affordable price with Aldi’s quality clothing, available for both adults and children. Hitting stores from 30th January, the range is also available to pre-order online from 26th January to help avoid the scrum!

England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland fans alike can keep cosy while supporting from the sidelines in the Rugby Hoody (£14.99), embroidered with each team logo and with a drawstring hood for when the weather doesn’t play ball. Rugby fanatics can also layer up with the Men’s Rugby Fleece (£12.99), featuring a quarter-zip design in soft, warm material, with embroidered logo.
Kids can match Mum and Dad to show their support in the Children’s Rugby Top (£8.99) available in five sizes from 3+. Featuring durable material and embellished with each team logo, they can even put on their own game without worrying about the mud! The Children’s Rugby Hoody (£9.99) and Children’s Rugby Fleece (£8.99) will ensure kids look the part on and off the field.

Complete the look with Aldi’s Rugby Beanie (£4.99), featuring team logos to keep pitch side supporters snug while cheering on their favourite team.
Aldi’s Six Nations range is available just in time for the start of the tournament but don’t let it ‘pass’ by as with all Specialbuys once they’re gone, they’re gone!
Aldi’s Six Nations range is available in stores 30th January and available to pre-order online from 26th January while stocks last. The full range can be found below:

YOUTH RUGBY TEAM SCORES PRIZE FIT FOR THE PROS

Ardrossan Accies under 16s won a rare opportunity to spend a day in the shoes of their sporting idols thanks to Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh West and Oriam.

The four-star hotel, situated on Heriot-Watt University campus joined forces with Oriam, Scotland’s national performance centre for sport, to offer one lucky team a money-can’t-buy training day – and the Ayrshire youngsters recently redeemed their prize.

The 16 boys spent 24 hours in the life of a professional player, which included a two-hour training session in world class facilities coached by Scottish Rugby Union professional Gavin Scott.

Following the high-octane training at Oriam, they relaxed in the hotel’s Heriot suite – often used by national visiting teams. The suite was kitted out with sofas, an Xbox, projector screen, table tennis table, arcade machine and lots more.

All players were given the VIP treatment including protein-rich lunch, dinner and snacks at The Avenue Lounge & Dining within Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh West. They then enjoyed an overnight stay within the large, bespoke designed team bedrooms with breakfast before check out.

Team Manager Ali Cairns said: “I entered on behalf of the boys, I think they’re a special group and really deserved an opportunity to be treated like professional players. The team is embedded in the local area and is always looking at ways to help others – it was great to give something back to them.”

Comments from the team throughout their VIP day included; ‘wow’, ‘best experience ever’, ‘superb training session’, ‘I wish my bedroom at home looked like this’ and ‘if this is what winning gets you, I want to win more often’.

Ali added: “For me, it was amazing to see the boys being spoiled. The hotel team made every one of them feel special and the Oriam experience was superb thanks to our coach for the afternoon, Gav Scott.”

Will Macpherson, General Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh West, said: “With world class sporting facilities next door, we regularly accommodate sports teams and travelling athletes in our custom designed guestrooms. We wanted to offer a youth team the opportunity to train like a pro and spend a day in the shoes of their sporting heroes.

“Our competition asked amateur teams to apply with an email explaining why their team should have this ‘professional athlete experience’ and the application from Ardrossan stood out to us. We’re delighted Ardrossan Accies had such a great experience with us – we hope they’ve been inspired and we wish them the best of luck for their future sporting careers.”

Courtyard by Marriott Edinburgh West is operated by RBH, the UK’s leading independent hotel management company.

www.rbhmanagement.com

Weird Fish celebrates the arrival of Six Nations with new themed t-shirt

If your plans for this February involve getting up close and personal with the Six Nations rugby coverage, then why not put your love of the noble game on public show, with the newly launched Fish Nations Artist T-shirt?
The limited-edition t-shirt from leading UK outdoor and casual clothing brand Weird Fish makes a proud statement – with an added pun-tastic fishy twist. No matter which team you’ll be cheering on to victory, Fish Nations offers a humorous talking point. Plus, if you’re aiming to catch the bartender’s eye (as well as the envious glances of your fellow rugby fans) then its bright and cheerful good looks are going to help you stand out in a crowd.
This exclusive design for Weird Fish comes in Marshmallow or Navy and is available in-store or online for just £20. Made in super-soft cotton and available in a range of sizes from Small to 5XL, there’s a Fish Nations t-shirt to fit rugby lovers of all shapes and sizes – from the burliest props to the nippiest of full-backs.
The Fish Nations t-shirt is available at eight Weird Fish stores nationally and online from www.weirdfish.co.uk. For details of your local store, check out the store finder at https://www.weirdfish.co.uk/help/find-a-store.

A LOVE LETTER TO THE GUINNESS SIX NATIONS

Whatever happens on the pitch, or off it, nothing will come between these six rugby unions. Come as rivals, leave as friends

Voiced by Andrew Scott, the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS tribute video calls on rugby fans and followers to celebrate the friendly rivalry that comes with rugby’s greatest Championship

31st January 2020: Celebrating the unique spirit of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS Championship, Title Partner GUINNESS today unveils a love letter to rugby that calls on fans to celebrate friendships and rivalries on the pitch by enjoying a pint together off it.

The video comes on a momentous day for Europe’s major rugby nations as fans prepare for the opening kick-off of this iconic championship, now in its 20th year. Voiced by Irish actor Andrew Scott, the video brings to life the fierce competitiveness that characterises the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS Championship along with the deep friendships and loyalties it evokes.

The 60 second montage distils the spirit of the rugby and its power to unite fans between nations and across borders, captured in the ask for this year’s championship to “come as rivals, leave as friends”. It is a call to arms for fans across all the nations to unite in the spirit of rugby, putting rivalries aside in pursuit of a common love.

Alongside this video, GUINNESS is launching a host of experiences that celebrate the friendly rivalry that binds each nation together. The Title Partner is inviting spectators across the home nations to come as rivals but leave as friends and engage in new fields of contest that mirror the fierce competitiveness of the Championship over the next two months. The exclusive experiences feature food, fitness and some of the fans’ favourite traditions offering people across the home nations the chance to make the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS truly unforgettable.

The first experience, unveiled earlier this week, is the GUINNESS Calcutta SAS Bootcamp, which will see TV personality and rugby fan Mark Wright lead a team of English against rugby legend Jim Hamilton and his team of Scots. As Scotland and England prepare for what is seen as rugby’s oldest rivalry, the hotly contested SAS style bootcamp will take place less than a mile away from the famous turf of Murrayfield. Each team will battle it out, with the winners being offered the opportunity to carry out the official coin toss ahead of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS contest.

Actor Andrew Scott, who voiced the video, said: “I’m very proud that GUINNESS is using the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS to hero the spirit of camaraderie and friendship in the sport. Great good luck to all six teams in this year’s Championship”.

Niall McKee, Head of GUINNESS Stout, Europe, commented: “Through victory and defeat, rugby has a unique power to bring together fans and rivals in the camaraderie of sport. We created this video to celebrate that spirit and to encourage fans across Europe to throw their arm around the person next to them and celebrate in their victory or commiserate with them in defeat.”

Following plenty of on field drama in Japan, the 2020 GUINNESS SIX NATIONS Championship is set to be one of the most enthralling sporting spectacles this year. It kicks off with Wales v Italy in Cardiff on February 1st at 14.15.

LINEOUT OF ORDER! SIX NATIONS GENDER PAY GAP IS ONE OF THE WORST IN SPORT

London, 31 January 2020 — The rugby Six Nations Championship, which kicks off on Saturday, is one of the worst offenders when it comes to sport’s gender pay gap, with the men’s winning team taking home £5million prize money — while the women’s champions get NOTHING, research by workplace equality champions Work180 reveals today.

By comparison, the Australian Open tennis, which finishes this weekend, sees both women and men winners get the same prize cheque of more than £2million.

Football and snooker are also among the worst culprits in Work180’s research of sporting gender pay gaps, both hosting events where women win prize money that is 100 times lower than their male colleagues receive.

The men’s football team that lifts this season’s FA Cup will get a whopping £3.6million, while the women’s squad will get just £25,000 — just 0.7% of their male colleagues’ winnings.

Similarly, the men’s champions Manchester City FC scooped a massive £151million for securing the Premier League last season, while the Women’s Super League winners Arsenal WFC got just £500,000 — a paltry 0.3%.

Judd Trump, the winner of the 2019 World Snooker Championships got £500,000, while England’s Reanne Evans got just £5,000 — a pitiful 1% — for lifting the same year’s World Women’s Snooker Championships.

In Golf, the prize for lifting the Women’s British Open is £540,000, a third (36%) of the £1.5million booty offered to the winner of The Open Championship.

Superficially, tennis looks like it has its house in order, with all four Grand Slam events paying equal prize money, but at smaller events like the Cincinnati Masters, the women winner gets just £385,695, less than half (45%) the £856,120 prize for the men.

The unequal prizes offered to darts players was highlighted recently when Fallon Sherrock pulled out of January’s BDO Women’s World Championship shortly after it was announced that the prize money would be just £10,000, compared to the men’s prize of £23,000.

Ms Sherrock earned £25,000 for making it to the third round of the PDC World Championship in December, soon after becoming the the first woman to win a match at the event.

Cricket is making strides towards parity by increasing the women’s prize for winning the 2021 World Cup to £2.8million from the £1.6million offered in 2017, but this is still some way behind the £3.1million the England men’s team got for lifting the trophy last year.

A similar gap exists for the T20 form of the tournament, with 2021’s competition offering

£1,232,472 for the men, but just £770,000 for the women winners.

Gemma Lloyd, Co-CEO and founder of workplace equality champion Work180, said:

“Anyone who tries to argue that the rewards in some sports, such as women’s football, are lower because of viewing figures will be scoring an own goal.

“In many sports, such as tennis, women are already achieving pay parity because national bodies got behind women in sport and are investing in promoting them properly.

“Audiences can only vote with their feet if they are offered the choice. This has a massive effect on pay and prize money, and some sports are clearly lagging well behind others.

“Some sports are to be congratulated on the advances they have made in closing the gender gap, but others are stuck in the dark ages.

“How can it be right that New Zealand’s women don’t get anything for lifting the rugby world cup, while South Africa’s men pocket £350,000?

“Our women sports stars play the same games as the men, run on the same pitches and make the same sacrifices for their careers.

“It’s time that sports’ governing bodies look at their pay structures and asked what are they doing to give men and women equal pay.”

Aireborough Rufc to Launch Adult Rugby Initiative with support from RFU

Aireborough RUFC, with the support from the RFU, is to launch a brand-new initiative designed to introduce more adult males to rugby union.

Back to Basics – a free of charge introduction to rugby initiative aims to provide males aged 18+ the chance to learn the basics of rugby union through tailored exercise programs, skills-based games and four-weekly social classroom sessions.

The free-of-charge sessions, which commence on 3rd February will take place weekly between 7 and 8 pm at the home of Yeadon-based amateur rugby club, Aireborough Rufc, and will be led by qualified coach Kristopher Brook and RFU Community Coach Oliver Eaves.

The initiative, which is the brainchild of Aireborough Rufc Community Development Officer, Gemma Birbeck, has been launched in a bid to tackle declining participation in senior rugby across Yorkshire and offers a ‘no pressure’ opportunity for males to fall in love, or back in love with the sport.

In addition to this, it will also open up a pathway to club rugby for those who feel ready to progress to play full-contact rugby as part of a team.

Recognising the barriers that may be preventing adult-aged males from first making contact with existing amateur teams, Gemma approached Oliver and Kris in late 2019 with the idea of developing a program that would teach basic rugby skills to those who have an interest in playing the game, but are holding back for one or more reasons.

Gemma said: “Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed a rapid decline in the number of adults joining the game and after speaking with other clubs, I began to realise that it was a county-wide issue.

“I began looking into why this might be, and with me being a junior coach, it occurred to me that adults often have the same nervous feeling about joining an existing team as children do. Plus, suddenly playing a contact sport as an adult that you’ve not played since school, or have never played before, is pretty daunting.”

“I started to think what if we could develop a programme that would introduce adults to the sport and teach them the skills they would need if they decided to play, but in a relaxed atmosphere? I met with Ollie and Kristopher to throw around some ideas, iron out any safety issues and come up with something that would both increase exercise participation, and also educate people about the sport we love. That’s when Back to Basics was born.”

The trio have already begun promoting the initiative and are hoping that other clubs will come forward to support their campaign, with a view to creating a pathway to their club should any attendees want to progress into senior rugby.

Oliver Eaves, RFU Community Coach said: “This is such a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved in rugby, whether they’ve played before or not.

“It’s been great to be a part of the development of the initiative, and witness the effort that Gemma, Kris and the rest of the team at Aireborough Rufc are putting back into the local community, encouraging more people to get out and be active”.

Former England Rugby Captain DYLAN HARTLEY to publish autobiography THE HURT, with Viking

Dylan Hartley’s retirement from rugby last Autumn came as a huge blow to both club and international rugby, not to mention it’s fans. A Northampton club legend, the second-most capped England player of all time and one of England’s most successful captains, Hartley lead his side in in 30 Tests including the 2016 Grand Slam and a 3-0 series win in the 2016 Cook Cup against Australia.

In THE HURT (14th May 2020, Viking, Penguin Random House), written with award-winning sports journalist and author Michael Calvin, Hartley tells the story of his life and the sport he fell in love with as a boy in rural New Zealand: a story of hard men and harsh truths. Aged 16, Hartley travelled alone from New Zealand to England to build a life and career. He has survived old-school brawls, led a loyal club career, and thrived in the high-pressure, high-performance culture created by Eddie Jones.

He also details his close coach-captain relationship with Eddie Jones; England’s rise from the ashes of failure at the 2015 World Cup to the success of the 2016 Grand Slam and the ever-increasing physical and psychological demands on players, including the toll on their mental health. As he shows, rugby hurts. It demands mental resilience and resistance to pain. It explores character, beyond a capacity to endure punishment. THE HURT presents rugby in the raw and provides a unique insight into the price of sporting obsession, and the lessons it teaches you along the way.

Dylan Hartley says: ‘I’m really excited to have the opportunity to tell my story and to talk about the sport I love. Since retiring, I have been able to look back at my rugby journey and the sport as a whole and there is a lot I’d like to say and share with my fans – from my early influences to the lessons I’ve learnt and the current state of the game. I hope they enjoy it’.

Michael McLoughlin, acquiring for Viking, says: ‘It is a privilege to publish Dylan Hartley’s autobiography. One of England’s most successful rugby captains, nobody has ever been in any doubt about Dylan’s commitment to his job, whether leading Northampton Saints and England, or scrummaging down as one of the most feared front row practitioners in the game. He gave the game his all, and in this book readers will read about the toll that exacted on him. This is a page-turning read which I think rugby fans will be talking about for a long time.’

NFL ANNOUNCES LOCATIONS OF

2020 NFL DRAFT EVENTS IN LAS VEGAS

As the Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL, Caesars Entertainment will host the Draft Main Stage and NFL Draft Experience Presented by Oikos® Triple Zero adjacent to the CAESARS FORUM, which will house Selection Square

Fountains of Bellagio to Host the NFL Draft Red Carpet

Renderings and Additional Assets Available for Download Here

LONDON – Bringing fans and players together, the 85th NFL Draft will host various free events at iconic Las Vegas locations, April 23-25, 2020, the NFL announced today. The Draft comes to Las Vegas as the Raiders prepare to embark on their first season in the city and at Allegiant Stadium. The celebration – at the NFL Draft Red Carpet, NFL Draft Main Stage and NFL Draft Experience – will include free immersive activities and live entertainment and performances, bringing a new level of excitement to the NFL Draft that only Las Vegas could provide.

Set against the iconic backdrop of the Strip, the NFL Draft Main Stage will be constructed next to the CAESARS FORUM. Free and open to the public, fans are invited to gather at the Draft Main Stage viewing zone to watch the first round selections on Night 1 (Thursday), Rounds 2-3 on Night 2 (Friday), and Rounds 4-7 on Day 3 (Saturday). The Main Stage will also host daily performances by headlining acts throughout the Draft.

All three days of the NFL Draft will be broadcast on NFL Network, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ABC – including two nights of primetime coverage on Thursday and Friday.

Located adjacent to the NFL Draft Main Stage, the NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos® Triple Zero will be a free, three-day football festival highlighted by interactive games, the Vince Lombardi Trophy, autograph sessions with NFL players and Legends, brand activations, giveaways and the NFL Shop presented by Visa. At the center of the action will be the NFL Draft Experience Stage, which will feature special performances by Las Vegas talent as well as interactive NFL-themed experiences.

The NFL Draft Experience will be free and open to fans at the following times:

Thursday, April 23: Noon – 9 PM PT or the end of round one
Friday, April 24: Noon – 9 PM PT or the end of round three
Saturday, April 25: 9 AM. – 6 PM PT or the end of round seven
CAESARS FORUM, the newest state-of-the-art conference center, located adjacent to the High Roller observation wheel on the Las Vegas Strip, will be host to Selection Square. This exclusive area will feature the team tables where representatives from each club will make their draft selections.

The 2020 NFL Draft will open on Thursday, April 23 with the official NFL Draft Red Carpet, which will be constructed on the famed Fountains of Bellagio. Starting at 2:30 PM PT, attending prospects will make their debut on the carpet. New this year, the red carpet will feature the Draft Red Carpet Stage, an exciting new addition to the opening event.

“Embracing Las Vegas’s unique energy and iconic locations as the backdrop for the 2020 NFL Draft will further elevate this growing event,” said PETER O’REILLY, NFL EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CLUB BUSINESS & LEAGUE EVENTS. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Raiders, Las Vegas officials and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to create an unforgettable week-long celebration for our fans, the incoming prospects and our partners, as we kick off the NFL’s next 100 years.”

“The Raiders are thrilled to join the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the resort corridor, and the local community in welcoming fans to Las Vegas for the 2020 NFL Draft,” said RAIDERS PRESIDENT, MARC BADAIN. “Just as the NFL journey begins on Draft weekend for many young players, the Silver and Black’s journey in the Sports and Entertainment Capital of the World is also just beginning. There is no better place to showcase this special event than on the famous Las Vegas Boulevard, and fans will be treated to a truly unique experience in an iconic location.”

“We are excited to partner with the NFL and the Raiders for our first major event together in Las Vegas,” said STEVE HILL, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AND PRESIDENT, LAS VEGAS CONVENTION AND VISITORS AUTHORITY. “Our destination prides itself on creating unforgettable and epic events and experiences and we believe the 2020 Draft will be among the most thrilling events Las Vegas has ever hosted. We look forward to welcoming hundreds of thousands of NFL fans to our world-class destination on April 23.”

NFL Draft Main Stage, NFL Draft Experience Stage and Red Carpet Stage performers and schedules will be announced at a later date.

Fans interested in receiving NFL Draft updates can register at NFL.com/2020Draft/Interest.

Visit NFL.com/2020Draft for all the latest NFL Draft updates and announcements.

Hodder & Stoughton acquire Irish rugby captain Rory Best’s autobiography


Rory Best is widely regarded as a rugby legend.
Entrusted by Joe Schmidt to lead a side that looked on the wane following the 2015 World Cup, Best’s inspirational leadership skills and assertive qualities proved to be the foundation stone for the most successful period in Ireland’s history.
His first year in charge saw Ireland complete a hat-trick of victories against the southern hemisphere ‘Big Three’, including leading his side to a first-ever victory over world champions New Zealand in Chicago, a feat that etched Best’s place in Irish sporting folklore and ended the All Blacks’ record-winning streak of 18 Test victories. Ireland’s Annus mirabilis under Best’s captaincy would come in 2018, however, when he led the side to their third Grand Slam title, culminating with a famous victory over England at Twickenham, and a record-breaking run of 12 successive Test victories. The year would be crowned with another famous victory against the All Blacks, this time in Dublin, with Ireland subsequently named as World Rugby’s team of the year.
When he steps down as Ireland captain at the age of 37 following the World Cup in Japan, his fourth tournament, history will no doubt also judge Best to be one of their greatest forwards. A hugely popular figure across the game, Best will finish his career as Ireland’s most capped forward, as well as making over 200 appearances for his home province Ulster.
Having grown up in the Troubles in Northern Ireland, Best is widely seen as an inspirational and unifying leader who transcended political divides. This is the story of his relentless drive to make the best not only of his own talent but of those around him, overcoming setbacks, off-field misdemeanours and horrific injuries – he was heralded as a hero for playing on against the All Blacks with a broken arm. It is the story of how he refused to be held back by his own limitations as a player and how his relentless commitment to the sport enabled him to play his best rugby in his 30s, despite the intense physical demands of playing in the front row.
Roddy Bloomfield, Sports Book Editor at Hodder & Stoughton, has bought World Rights from Keith Hannath, Rory Best’s agent. The book will be published in March 2020.

CELEBRITY PUBLICAN JODIE KIDD PARTNERS WITH THE GUINNESS TEAM TO HOST VOGUE WILLIAMS AND IRISH FANS FOR THE ULTIMATE RUGBY WEEKENDER

GUINNESS has partnered with Supermodel and publican Jodie Kidd and Irish TV presenter Vogue Williams to host a group of Irish rugby fans in Jodie’s countryside pub, The Half Moon

The exclusive VIP experience will take place on the weekend of the England vs Ireland GUINNESS SIX NATIONS match, and will offer Irish fans the full English experience, before watching the match live at Twickenham Stadium with Jodie and Vogue

The ‘Jodie Kidd Rugby Weekender’ is the second in a series of experiences that The GUINNESS Team is putting on to celebrate the friendly rivalry of the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS

12th February 2020: Six Nations Title Partner GUINNESS has partnered with celebrity publican and rugby fan Jodie Kidd for next weekend’s much anticipated England vs Ireland GUINNESS SIX NATIONS crunch match. The model will be hosting Vogue Williams and a lucky group of fans for a weekend they won’t forget as they stay in Jodie’s pub and head to the game together, celebrating the friendly rivalry that exists between the two rugby nations.

To kick things off, the fans will enjoy a culinary experience with Vogue and Jodie in her pub and restaurant. Offering a range of exceptional food from across the English countryside, guests can expect to tuck into some comforting pub grub, alongside a pint or two of GUINNESS. Following a meal hosted in Jodie’s pub, The Half Moon in Kirdford, the lucky group of fans will head to a luxury 5-star hotel nearby, waking to a full English fry-up the next day. They’ll then be whisked off to Twickenham Stadium for an unforgettable match-day experience – watching England and Ireland whilst embracing the friendly rivalry. Post-match, fans will be treated to a pint of GUINNESS at the well-known rugby pub The Cabbage Patch before heading back home.

The experience will bring fans and celebrities from both nations together to celebrate the friendly rivalry that the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS embodies. Whatever the outcome of the match, a pint of GUINNESS will be shared between both sets of fans, ensuring they come as rivals but leave as friends.

Jodie Kidd says “I’ve always been a huge rugby fan and think the friendly rivalry that takes place between the nations in the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS is great fun! I can’t wait to meet the group of Irish fans coming to my pub and to enjoy a pint of GUINNESS with them and Vogue ahead of the showdown at Twickenham.”

Vogue Williams says “The friendly rivalry during the GUINNESS SIX NATIONS is something I’m very familiar with seeing as I’m Irish and my other half is English! I’m so excited to get to know the Irish fans at Jodie’s pub and to experience the game all together – hopefully we’ll have the luck of the Irish and win!”

The ‘Jodie Kidd Rugby Weekender’ is the second of a series of experiences that the GUINNESS Team is putting on to celebrate the friendly rivalries across the union of rugby. The Title Partner is inviting spectators across the home nations to come as rivals but leave as friends throughout the Championship over the next two months.

To be in with a chance to win this money can’t buy experience, fans should head to www.guinness.com/en-gb/rugby-guinness-six-nations/ to find out more.

Entrants will need to state their Date of Birth, Full Name, Contact Details, Place of Travel and one reason why they believe they should be invited to come and support Ireland. Spaces are limited and the lucky winners will be chosen by 17th February.

HARLEQUINS HOST KINGS CROSS STEELERS, THE WORLD’S FIRST GAY AND INCLUSIVE RUGBY CLUB, FOR FIRST EVER PRIDE MATCH

● On Saturday 15th February 2020 premiership rugby club, Harlequins, host Kings Cross Steelers, the world’s first gay rugby team in their first ever pride match

● This will be professional rugby’s first ever pride match to coincide with LGBTQ+ History Month, playing London Irish

● On the day both teams will be supporting the Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity

In the run up to the Harlequins first ever pride match, key members of the team from coaching staff to players will be visiting the Kings Cross Steelers to train with and meet the world’s first gay and inclusive rugby club.

During the historic pride match the Kings Cross Steelers will be supporting Terrence Higgins Trust in raising awareness of their campaign around the stadium and supporting their fundraising efforts through the Harlequins cup deposit scheme. The Harlequins will screen video content about the Kings Cross Steelers and will invite the club to have a presence during halftime on the pitch.

You can view the Harlequins video with the Kings Cross Steelers here: vimeo.com/391026512/15bb8b3330

Matt Webb, Kings Cross Steelers Chairman, said:

“Now more than ever we need rugby players and clubs at the top of their game to make clear public commitments about supporting the LGBT+ community. Harlequins are leading the way in using their platform to make a statement that rugby is a sport for all. We are proud to walk out side by side with the Harlequins in their first ever pride match and hope that those watching will show their support. The Kings Cross Steelers was founded 25 years ago, since then sport and wider society has come a long way but there is still work to be done. We hope other teams will look to the example being set by the Harlequins and follow suit.”

Claire Sargeant, Terrence Higgins Trust, Community and Events Fundraising Manager, said:

“For nearly four decades, Terrence Higgins Trust has proudly stood alongside the LGBTQ+ community, and more recently the Kings Cross Steelers. We’re incredibly excited to be part of the first Pride match in the Premiership Rugby which coincides with LGBT History Month. This is an important time to celebrate the huge progress we’ve seen in HIV and sexual health, which LGBTQ+ people have helped drive forward. The fight goes on but by working together with LGBTQ+ allies, we can break down stigma and ensure inclusivity on and off the rugby pitch.”