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Some of the biggest names in modern rugby history will be on show for the Ireland and England Legends match, being played for the Stuart Mangan Memorial Cup, at the Twickenham Stoop, on Friday, the 26th of February – the night before the two countries meet in the Six Nations, at Twickenham.

The match will be in aid of both the IRFU Charitable Trust and Keith Wood’s Paralysed Rugby Players’ Fund in Ireland and The Matt Hampson Trust in England. Tickets cost £10, concessions £5, unreserved seating, and are now on sale, from the following website You will also be able to pay at the gate.

Ireland’s team will be led by Ireland and British and Irish Lion Shane Byrne, previously Leinster’s most capped player. His team will include such Irish legends as Reggie Corrigan, David Humphreys, Tyrone Howe, Eric Miller, Rob Henderson, Paul Burke and Justin Bishop. Other legends also in attendance will be Jonathan Bell, Kieron Dawson, Paddy Johns, Gabriel Fulcher, Len Dineen, and John O Neil.

England’s team will be led by former captain and British and Irish Lion Martin Corry and will include several members of the 2003 World Cup winning team. England’s most-capped player, Jason Leonard, will return to his former home ground, to take part. Other heroes of 2003 include Josh Lewsey, Jason Robinson, Paul Grayson, Mark Regan and Richard Cockerill. They’ll be joined by other recent internationals Tim Stimpson, Darren Garforth, Garath Archer, Phil Greening and Nick Greenstock – all subject to availability.

With generous team sponsorship from reinsurance group Validus Re, and match sponsorship from construction company the Byrne Group this promises to be an evening to remember at the Stoop. There will be live bands after the game, the bars will be open late – everything to create the craic traditionally associated with clashes between England and Ireland.

Matt Hampson has won the admiration of rugby fans everywhere for the courageous way in which, to use the words from his favourite film, ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, he has ‘got busy living’, after being paralysed in a training accident with the England Under-21 team, in March 2005. Despite being paralysed from the neck down, and being unable to breathe without a ventilator, he leads a full and active life and is the Ambassador for the Rugby Players’ Association Benevolent fund in England.

The teams will play for The Stuart Mangan Memorial Cup. Stuart was just 26 when he passed away, on August the 7th 2009. In April 2008, he’d suffered the worst possible spinal injury, while playing for Hammersmith and Fulham RFC, in London.

After spending seven months in hospital, he returned to his specially adapted flat in Bayswater, and resumed life. Like Matt Hampson, he never allowed his injury to affect his love for rugby and life – he was a proud son of Cork and Munster. Like Matt, he was always cheerful, positive, determined and forward-looking. When he died, suddenly and unexpectedly, he was full of plans for the future.

He and Matt had become close friends and following Stuart’s death, his family agreed that this 2010 Legends Match, would be a fitting tribute to Stuart.

The game will be refereed by former international referee Tony Spreadbury, who was overseeing the training session in which Matt Hampson suffered his injury.

The aim is for this fixture to become an annual event, and plans are already under way for the return match to be played in Dublin, in 2011.

The match is kindly supported by The Forgotten Irish, Harlequins and The Irish Post.

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