RWC 2003 Revival – Book now!

ImageThis November marks the tenth anniversary of England’s glorious victory over Australia, in their own back yard, at the Rugby World Cup 2003. It’s a day never to be forgotten by England fans, many of whom will be keen to re-live the elation and revel in the memory of England’s first time win of the Webb Ellis Cup.

A number of events have been organised to celebrate the occasion, with many hugely expensive and well out of the financial reach of average fans, so Victoria Chipp, organiser for #RaiseforMatt in London, decided to offer real supporters a chance to re-visit the game, have a party and raise money for The Matt Hampson Foundation.

‘While it’s great that other charities and organisations are raising money through the commemorations, for most people, especially these days, hundreds of pounds for a ticket is out of the question, so we decided to set up a ‘people’s event. Duncan Townsend a well known supporter of rugby linked charities in London offered his venue ‘The No 1 Sports Bar’ in City Road, free of charge to us for the eve of the anniversary, Thursday, November 21st! This means we have no associated costs and all money goes straight where it is intended. The night is going to be great fun and a fantastic opportunity to network with like minded rugby fans.’ says Tori.

Admission to The No1 Sports Bar is £10 and the evening runs from 5.30 until 11.30 with the entire RWC2003 Final being shown on multiple screens around the bar whilst music from that year is played to get the party going. Extra time and Jonny Wilkinson’s iconic drop goal will be screened with sound so that everyone can relive those final nail-biting minutes. There will be a ‘happy hour’ until 9pm when drink will be at 2003 prices or better and everyone is encouraged to wear their vintage England rugby shirts. There will be an auction of rugby memorabilia including a signed 2003 England Rugby shirt, and a raffle. All profits from the evening will be donated to The Matt Hampson Foundation.

Matt Hampson will speak to guests at half time about the work of his charity that supports young people seriously injured through sport. Many current and ex premiership and rugby internationals will be showing their support for Matt by joining in the party. Several of the 2003 squad have expressed interest in attending and details will be released when commitments are confirmed.

There is a limited amount of tickets and booking early is highly advised. We can also offer corporate packages for those who wish to entertain clients.

Booking is through Eventbrite at

For further information contact Tori Chipp -#Raise4Matt


Lions 2013 Squad

Full Squad:
Fullbacks: Leigh Halfpenny (Wales, Cardiff Blues), Stuart Hogg (Scotland, Glasgow Warriors), Rob Kearney (Ireland, Leinster)

Wings: Tommy Bowe (Ireland, Ulster), Alex Cuthbert (Wales, Cardiff Blues), Sean Maitland (Scotland, Glasgow Warriors), George North (Wales, Scarlets)

Centres: Jonathan Davies (Wales, Scarlets), Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland, Leinster), Jamie Roberts (Wales, Cardiff Blues), Manusamoa Tuilagi (England, Leicester Tigers)

Outside halves: Owen Farrell (England, Saracens), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland, Leinster)

Scrum halves: Conor Murray (Ireland, Munster), Mike Phillips (Wales, Bayonne), Ben Youngs (England, Leicester Tigers)

Props: Dan Cole (England, Leicester Tigers), Cian Healy (Ireland, Leinster), Gethin Jenkins (Wales, Toulon), Adam Jones (Wales, Ospreys), Matt Stevens (England, Saracens), Mako Vunipola (England, Saracens)

Hookers: Dylan Hartley (England, Northampton Saints), Richard Hibbard (Wales, Ospreys), Tom Youngs (England, Leicester Tigers)

Second rows: Ian Evans (Wales, Ospreys), Richie Gray (Scotland, Sale Sharks), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales, Ospreys), Paul O’Connell (Ireland, Munster), Geoff Parling (England, Leicester Tigers)

Back rows: Tom Croft (England, Leicester Tigers), Toby Faletau (Wales, Newport Gwent Dragons), Jamie Heaslip (Ireland, Leinster), Dan Lydiate (Wales, Newport Gwent Dragons), Sean O’Brien (Ireland, Leinster), Justin Tipuric (Wales, Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Wales, Cardiff Blues)

Rugby League Round-up

Written by Craig Halstead

The middle week-end of April was a very busy one for sport – the Grand National, the FA Cup semi- finals and the entry of all fourteen Engage Super League clubs into the 2012 Carnegie Challenge Cup competition! The Challenge Cup is undoubtedly Rugby League’s most enduring and traditionally exciting tournament, not least because of the prize that all RL players covet….a chance to showcase their talents at the home of British sport – Wembley Stadium.

History tells us that professional Rugby League is a sport rooted in the North of England – and although the London Broncos (newly named this year after a spell as Harlequins Rugby League), the valiant London Skolars and two semi-professional clubs in Wales do magnificent jobs in spreading the gospel – it is still true today that the game professionally tends to span the M62 corridor. It is little wonder then that RL players treat the opportunity of contesting the Challenge Cup Final in the south of England, in our country’s capital city and at a magnificent stadium like Wembley as the highlight of their season.

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England make four changes…

ENGLAND today made four personnel changes to their starting line-up for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations match against Wales at Twickenham Stadium.

Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), Ben Morgan (Scarlets) and Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers) will all start their first Tests at the home of English rugby after coming off the bench against Scotland and Italy.

In addition, Owen Farrell will move to No 10 in place of Charlie Hodgson, who has not recovered from an injury to his left index finger, with Manusamoa Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) coming in to the centre.

Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) and Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers) make their first appearances of the campaign on the bench.

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Calcutta Cup England 22

Looking to bring this team ethic back

The Calcutta Cup this year is billed to be closer than ever before. It is never easy for England to go away to Scotland and im pretty sure the team don’t particularly relish the prospect!

The Scots really have some fire in their bellies and the English look set to send out a new look squad so the competition is very much a case of who is more up for it.

England have also been through the mill via the press post World Cup and need a win to give some credibility to the nature they wish to portray and not the painting the media paints so perfectly.

The squad for Scotland is as follows:

15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Owen Farrell, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Ben Youngs, 1 Alex Corbisiero, 2 Dylan Hartley, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Mouritz Botha, 5 Tom Palmer, 6 Tom Croft, 7 Chris Robshaw, 8 Phil Dowson Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Matt Stevens, 18 Geoff Parling, 19 Ben Morgan, 20 Lee Dickson, 21 Jordan Turner-Hall, 22 Mike Brown

Meet some of our followers!

Meet our loving family!


Here at The Rugby Diary we are really looking to kick on into 2012! So today we joined #rugbyunited on twitter which I am sure you have all heard of by now. We asked our new followers to sum up in 140 characters what part rugby played in their lives. Some were clever and used “txt spk” so we made sure not to edit it out. All their twitter handles are also there so why not give them a follow….

Here’s mine …

TheRugbyDiaryThe Rugby Diary

Tori, Tigers girl from Harrogate (used to work for them) love tallmen and writing. passion for Hookers and locks. Go watch 50+ games a year


Odd_southerner Ali Cox

@TheRugbyDiary Ali, supporter with multiple allegiance (Falc, Tigers & Sarries), love rugby photography but amateur, like a bit of 2nd row!


LcfcPerko Sam Perkins

@TheRugbyDiary beer, banter, big hits and funny shaped balls!


TrekkieRugbyFan Samantha

@TheRugbyDiary mine: Sam, used 2 play rugby but now just watch, seem 2 hve a thing 4 centres. Tigers fan only manage 3 matches due 2 work


Sophie_2103 Sophie

@TheRugbyDiary the beers, the boys and the banter #simples x


SurfingTigerDV Karen

@TheRugbyDiary Karen 27 a Tiger for 20yrs. Go to all home games & fair few away ones. Psychologist/ photographer/surfer/pianist Love Stimmo


1984chopper Gareth Topping

@TheRugbyDiary being part of a team, the respect on and off the pitch! Something u don’t find many other sports


AnneDawkins Anne Dawkins

@TheRugbyDiary True Tiger love a No8 neighbour boys @KBrookes3 & @RichDC08 very respectable neighbourhood of Oval Park #starspotter


kirstychalk Kirsty Chalk

@TheRugbyDiary Kirsty, Tigers fan since moving to Leicester. Love the game, beer, banter and especially @benyoungs09 !!


ajs_1122 Ashley Smith

@TheRugbyDiary ashley, scotland fan living in south wales! Best of both worlds! Also partial to falcons and saints!#rugbyunited


angelninn Ninn Goldsworthy

@TheRugbyDiary ninn-rep 4 rugby4heroes. Total waspie, life time allblacks fan. Former player (prop) few games due to funds.thing for no:8’s


facemandave facemandave

@TheRugbyDiary Works team are current English champs.Club side top of the league.I’m on the long term injury list. I’m a tiger, dads a saint


LisaBerry1978 Lisa Berry

@TheRugbyDiary Play ref & watch. Started playing @ Uni, got up to Eng students. Injured so took up reffing now back playing Richmond III’s


reggieharpz George

@TheRugbyDiary I am a massive tigers fan and also play for Melton Mowbray 1sts,I’m a number 9 but also cover and play in every back position

Boulder909 Matthew Gorman
@TheRugbyDiary rugby rugby rugby, pint pint pint, rugby, pint, rugby, pint, rugby rugby rugby, pint pint pint #RugbyUnited
@TheRugbyDiary Munster by Birth,faith, political and economic views, practically live in Thomond park,Well adjacent bars anyway #rugbyunited

Want to get involved? send us your mini profiles to @therugbydiary.


Are 140 characters not enough, do you fancy doing some blogging via The Rugby Diary? well we want to hear from you email us at rugbydiary and we would love to have your contributions!




The View from the Valleys Part One: European Action Starts for the Welsh



Jorden Marvelley follows the Welsh regions into Europe as they began their Heineken Cup or Amlin Challenge Cup campaigns.  Here’s the first part as she looks at how Cardiff Blues and Ospreys got on.

French flare not enough to blindside the Blues.

The Heineken Cup got under way this weekend, with the Blues facing the tough challenge of Racing Metro in Paris. This is the first time any of the Welsh regions has come face to face with French opposition since that semi-final clash in the World Cup last month. There were those on the field who would have felt they had a score to settle, especially the return of Wales captain Sam Warburton, and settle it they did.

The intent and physicality of the game was displayed from the start with James Down being taken off injured and replaced by Paul Tito within the first three minutes of the game. It was refreshing to see that the referee George Clancy did not hamper the game’s flow with the continuous resetting of the scrum; it was one offence and then a penalty.

It was the Blues who were the first to make that mistake: Racing Metro chose to run the ball but with nothing on Juan Martin Hernandez opened the scoring with an impressive drop goal. The Blues first chance at points came after some great phases of play, which opened up the gap for Paul Tito, who was shuffled into touch inches from the line by what can only be described as a try saving tackle.

The pressure from the Blues continued however, as the resulting maul from Racing Metro’s five metre line-out collapsed and the ball presented itself to prop Tau Filise, who placed it under the sticks and Dan Parks added the conversion.

After a penalty a piece for the two sides, the French pack really turned on the flare with the winger Juan Imhoff cutting the Blues’ otherwise impeccable defence to shreds to add another five points to the score board. The favour was very quickly returned however, with Cuthbert powering over in the corner, the conversion from Parks put the visitors back ahead and the first half ended Racing Metro 14-17 Cardiff Blues.

The second half was no less intense, though it was dominated by the battle of the fly-halves; it was in the end the lack of discipline that ended Racing Metro’s hopes for a win coupled with Dan Parks’ on form kicking display. The game ended with a well deserved 20-26 win for the Cardiff Blues.

With an impressive Heineken Cup away win under their belt, the Blues now have to make it count and continue this form with a win against London Irish in front of home support on Friday night.

‘B’s are best in Ospreys opening Heineken Cup clash.

It really was the battle of the ‘B’s in Saturday’s Heineken Cup clash between the Ospreys and Biarritz at the Liberty Stadium, as the teams left it to players like Biggar, Bowe, Balshaw and Bosch to tidy up what was at times a scrappy game riddled with ill discipline.

The Ospreys looked to be repeating their rather lacklustre performance of last weekend with no fluidity in their attacking game and were rather lucky that Marcelo Bosch and Julien Peyrelongue were not firing on all cylinders with their first early attempts at goal.

But it was seasoned professional Damien Traille who steadied the visitors with a drop goal on the five minute mark. The crowd of 7,732 were treated to very little in the way of actual rugby until the boot of Dan Biggar finally levelled the scores after what seemed like a very long 15 minutes.

The rest of the half dragged on with nothing particularly exciting being produced by either team, Biggar was gifted another shot at goal before the interval providing the home side with a narrow lead as the half ended Ospreys 6-3 Biarritz.

Biarritz started the second half the way they had ended the first, with Biggar having two shots at goal within mere minutes of each other; nothing seemed to faze the young player who slotted both over with little difficulty, even from a tricky angle. Next came some penalty ping pong, with each side being awarded consecutive penalties against the other. Ian Balshaw was penalised for holding on, then Duncan Jones was pinged for an infringement almost immediately afterwards.  Finally an originally good move by the Ospreys was killed when the Biarritz skipper deliberately put his hands in the ruck and referee Andrew Small ruled that the Ospreys had illegally overturned the ball.

They say cometh the hour, cometh the man and after trailing by nine points the visitors seemed to flick a switch and with some beautiful handling by Traille, Balshaw slid across the try line. Bosch was not as lucky with the boot and was unable to convert from the awkward angle. The fiery display from the French seemed to trigger an immediate response from the Ospreys. Kahn Fotuali’i got the better of Marcelo Bosch, who struggled with an up and under: Fotuali’i’s quick response allowed Tommy Bowe to gather the ball and literally slide across the line; Biggar made it the full 7 points.

An offside offence saw Biggar take the Welsh region two scores clear of the visitors and then came the dreaded interception pass. Yachvili, who read Bishop’s pass beautifully, then handed it off to Balshaw who had the pace to go all the way scoring his second of the night, the conversion cut the Ospreys lead to just seven.

I have discussed Balshaw’s third try with my friend and we both agree, even though I am an Ospreys supporter, that it was a somewhat controversial decision, neither of us could really see what was wrong with it but the referee disallowed it and the Ospreys and their supporters must have heaved a huge sigh of relief.

Biggar was rightfully named man of the match, no one can argue with a 100% kicking performance, even those who aren’t his biggest fans. On the night his 23 points made all the difference.

By Jorden Marvelley

Coming tomorrow Part Two covering the Scarlets and Newport Gwent Dragons!


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