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)

Run out with ROBINSON?! #raise4matt

Yes you read that right! How would you like your child to have the chance to run out alongside Jason Robinson at Welford Road?

One of the auction lots for #raise4matt that has kindly been donated by The Matt Hampson Foundation is to make that very dream a reality! On the 21st of April two star-studded sides take to the pitch at Welford Road. The sides are already made up of legends such as Robinson, Betson, Freddie Tuilagi and MArtin Johnson and with more and more household names set to join them.

At the #Raise4Matt auction you have the chance to bid on a package that would see your child run out as the mascot on the day in front of what is set to be a big crown at Fortress Welford. as a rugby loving parent what could actually make you prouder than seeing your next generation run out with the heroes of ours. The package will also include tickets to the game for a select few and potentially a non catered box if we can make arrangements in time so you can really watch one of your proudest moments in style.

Below you will find details to the game.

http://www.matthampson.co.uk/news/news-69.html 

This lot will be taking bids in advance of the auction in order to allow as many people as possible the chance to bid on a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Do not let this pass you by folks!

For all details on the auction and this amazing opportunity follow @raise4matt on Twitter or get in touch with Tori at raise4matt@gmail.com

www.justgiving.com/victoria-chipp1

Matt Hampson Auction March 2013

A message from Tori Chipp

I am running a BIG auction for The Matt Hampson Foundation in the lovely City of London (date provisionally Thursday March 21st) at the No 1 Sports Bar. There will be some amazing lots as well as some drinks and pro rugby players (new and old) attending. So where the help bit comes in, it would be amazing if you guys could spread the word with me. The event is going to be invite-only as I want rich people there who will spend a lot of money int he auction and donate on the night too.I am also looking for donations, it doesn’t have to be rugby associated, just auctionable, rugby based is obviously very cool with me though too. Any donation of this nature will result in an invite to the event so pop your thinking caps on and see what you can come up with.

Furthermore we will be needing some help designing the invites and a digital flyer for the event so anyone that can help with that side of things will be hot property and again will be invited to the event.
Should be a great event guys and I am already really looking forward to it please spread the word!

 

Please do drop me an email if you can help on rugbydiary@gmail.com

What brings you here?

As you all know it has been a while since we graced your screens, mainly due to moving home, new jobs, no Internet etc. But we are well and truly back and in our absence it appears you guys have been Googling a lot of strange things to bring you to our page. We get a list of them and so I thought we should share with you some of our favourites. Directly copied and pasted from our list so beware of spelling errors etc but I had a real chuckle at them and hope you do too!

 

“Dan Cole rugby topless” (whatever floats your boat….)

“Chris Robshaw boxers/briefs”

“David Flatman pictures nakeds”

”Is Jamie Noon still playing” (of course)

”Dan Cole rugby sisters” ( I wouldn’t mess with them)

“David Flathands naked” (Edward Scissorhands nemesis?)

“Funny rugby retirement reasons” (are there any?)

“Alesana girlfriend” (seriously people do not mess!!)

“Danny Care hairy legs” ( has someone heard a rumour?)

“I love Jamie George Saracens”

“Jamie George fan club”

“Jamie George rugby fan blog” (I think we have a Jamie George fan following us!!)

“Leicester Tigers team Cher” (don’t remember this half time entertainment)

“Manu Tuilagi muscles”

“Professor Andy Forsyth” ( when did this happen?)

“Ritchie Gray flying squad” (See above!!!)

“How do I recruit new rugby players” (If you are having to ask google Jim Mallinder….)

“James Haskell the Body”

“Ben Pienaar penis” (Ok guys just wrong!)

“Chris Robshaw nude”

“Joe Marler Arsehole” (is he or do you want to see it, either way bad Google search)

“Is Chris Robshaw deaf”

“Tom Catterick holiday plans” (wanting to join him?)

“Rugby player q&a blonde or brunette”

“Is rugby about who you know not what you know”

“Is Benjamin Ryan from England sevens married”

“Why did Manu punch Ashton and not get in trouble” (hahahaha)

“nude rugby Rachel Scott” (who is she?)

“@debspeters chest pics #getthenorksoutdebs” (I know she will appreciate this won’t you Debs?)

 

One last note, I also saw a lot of your names on there been googling ourselves have we ;)…..

The Harsh Reality of Retirement

Now I am going to be brutally honest when I first started getting into rugby it was all about the youngsters, the showmen and of course the delectable bodies of said athletes. Then came the passion for the community, the driving force behind the game and what it really meant to all involved whether it be a fan, player, coach or the neutral that tags along to any game because they love the sport. But recently my head has been turned to what happens to the professionals once their playing careers are over.

For some it is something they can work up to, re skill and make a smooth transition into city life. For others the news is much less expected and therefore much harder to prepare for. Imagine if you will the stark reality that sometimes you are just no longer of any actual value to the organisation that pays you, and so like in many other businesses cuts are made. However in this instance it’s much harder to find a similar role where you might thrive. If rugby is all you have been doing since you left school and whether due to age or injury it is something that you can no longer do well, you may find your self in a position where there are very few options.

The more charismatic among the players may find an easy transition into the world of commentating, writing, internal club affairs or taking a step over the other side of the touch-line and becoming an agent. The more technically astute will usually become coaches and pass on their expertise. However what if you haven’t got these opportunities because lets face facts there are a lot more rugby players out there than there are Ben Kays and Austin Healeys. The other working life in business can be a very daunting place post playing career for those who have never done anything of its nature. The point in question was really first highlighted to me by Duncan Bell. He was so candid about his sudden retirement and the harsh realities of starting up his own business. The terrifying prospect that it may not all be ok in the end.

The harsh nature of this business often means there isn’t much support out there for these guys either. Of course there are the obvious places to go for advice your club, The RPA etc. But really where is the “hands on” advice and actual time that these players need hiding?

 I recently attended an event which was put on by an organisation called RUINN which is headed up by ex Saracen Hugh Vyvyan. It was a networking event that allowed city individuals in London to mix with some recently retired rugby players and see if there was anything they could do that would be mutually beneficial for each other. In attendance was Ben Woods who recently found himself out in the cold after a long-term wrist injury had ruled him out of professional sport. Having known Ben through my work at Tigers it was great to see him in a completely different environment. The networking event put him in touch with several lawyers (Ben is currently studying for his Law conversion GDL) and will fingers crossed allow him to foster relationships and work experience to make the next few years a lot easier.

My issue comes is for the boys who aren’t Cambridge graduates and haven’t got the foggiest idea what they want to do post playing career. I know there is a lot of support in clubs to help players realise what they want to do when they have finished playing but in my mind it is still nowhere near enough. Rugby clubs typically harbour great working relationships with a variety of sizes of businesses. I feel it is imperative that a player is rounded into more than a machine on the pitch but a person that can swiftly move into other areas of work when their time with the club is finished. That support network needs to be there at a very minimum so the skills needed can be developed over years as opposed to over a few weeks/months when a player gets thrown in at the deep end.

Furthermore more players need to be encouraged by their agents and clubs alike to get involved in this sort of networking events whether it is RUINN or The Rugby Business Network or The RPA. It needs to be considered valuable to the club which at a business only level it isn’t. It means players taking a few hours here and there to aid their own personal development and unless this translates into points during the game it isn’t going to draw in more fans and therefore more money. However niceties aside unless the clubs are going to pay the big bucks to set up a player for life, the players need to be set up for post playing life. I would go as far to argue that an agent should be an agent for the player’s life not just their most valuable time when they are on the field. Often by the time a player actually sees the value in these events it’s too late and they are searching for work with a barely there CV.

Arguably however it is also down to us as fans and friends. Keep a look out for those who are retiring or coming up to retirement and think if it could in any way add value to your organisation if they were to even just gain some experience with you. Rugby life is typically a well-connected industry and I think if we all looked at our companies or friends’ companies there would be a slot there that could offer those players the start to their non playing lives they need. You may think this sounds like a barbaric idea as players must have these sorts of offer thrown at them routinely but believe me they really don’t. Or even if this isn’t possible lets look at where we are spending our money. At The Stoop instead of heading for one of the chain stands head for Ollie Kohn’s Jolly Hog and Sausage. When looking at mortgage brokers go to Duncan Bell. Refer your friends to them lets help build their empire from the inside. Support the charities that supports them and eventually I hope we will see fewer players facing the harsh truth that often awaits them come retirement.

Stay tuned for news of upcoming events that you can attend!

Olney Sevens!

Olney Sevens 2012

Olney 7s 2012 With five hugely successful events behind the club and a growing reputation the 2012 Olney 7s promises to be another great rugby day out. The standard of 7s and the quality of competition at Olney 7s continues to improve year on year. This year’s event takes place on Saturday 7th July at the home of Buckinghamshire based Olney Rugby Club, not far from J14 of the M1. The main Data-Re open tournament, for up to 20 teams, has a cash prize of £500 to the winning team.  Competition for this tournament looks good for 2012 with previous winners POD, joined once again by Carmarthen Warriors, Clic Sargent Godfathers, Qube, Hammerheads and Marauders Belief Academy.

 

New faces this year include Trojan 7s, Royals Sevens, The Cockatoos, Redstone 7s and Olney’s local rivals Aylesbury RFC.  With returning teams including Hollywood 7s and Crispin Rhodes Crusaders the player’s complimentary Olney 7s T shirts will be seen all over the country after July 7th!

Now in its second year is the Hopping Mad tournament, aimed at players who are mainly over 30 or play in lower club or work sides.  Interest in this social tournament has been very high and places were filled quickly.  This may have something to do with the liquid prize from the tournament sponsors; The Olney based Hopping Mad Brewery! Olney 7s is a superb spectator and family day out.

Entrance is free with both tournaments starting with the pool stages from 10.30 in the morning, continuing with all teams entering the knockout stages in the afternoon.  Finals and presentations to the winning teams should be complete by 6.30 pm.  BBQ and food is on sale and the bar is open all day.

The social side continues into the night with a hog roast and MK band ‘Legion’ playing live on stage. ‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank Olney for having us for the weekend. The club were fantastic hosts and the event seemed to be exceptionally well received across both tournaments. Looking forward to Olney 7s 2012!’ said Phil Tomlinson from Sheffield Bears after last year’s event.

Are you putting together or simply want to help promote a rugby event? Well get in touch we would love to hear from you

@therugbydiary or rugbydiary@gmail.com

For more information on the Olney 7’s see the links below.

www.olneyrfc.co.uk  and www.pitchero.com/clubs/olney7s

Duncan Bell, The past, present and future

As manyof you will already know Duncan Bell announced his decision to retire this week. However the real shock came when he openly talked about his depression and how it has affected him over the years. After a manic week Duncan Bell kindly took the time out to chat with The Rugby Diary about times gone by and everything that is yet to come!

The Interview

As the rugby world has recently learned, you are to retire at the end of this season. What has been your favourite memory of your playing career?

Well unfortunately for you, I must say it is without doubt when we played Leicester in a Heineken Cup quarter final game at the Walker Stadium. We were under the cosh for ages, and even down to 13 for last part of the game. We were there as underdogs and everything was going against us, but somehow we turned the game around and won and ended up in a European Cup semi-final game.

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