This Friday night at 7.45pm, the annual Ireland v England Legends charity match will take place at the Twickenham Stoop. Fans can pay at the gate for what promises to be another memorable evening both on and off the pitch.
Taking place on the eve of the RBS 6 Nations clash between England and Ireland, and with the teams playing for the Stuart Mangan Memorial Cup, the Legends charity match will provide the perfect opener to the final weekend of the 2012 Six Nations.
The match is being played to raise funds for those seriously injured playing rugby. The charities benefiting include the IRFU Charitable Trust, the RFU Injured Players Foundation and the RPA Benevolent Fund.
The game will see some of the big names of Irish and English rugby go head-to-head one more time. Ireland will be hoping to reclaim the trophy after losing last year’s encounter at Donnybrook.
Shane Byrne, a swan-diving try scorer that night, leads a star-studded Ireland team for the trip to the Stoop, including Mick Galwey, Eric Miller, Malcolm O’Kelly, Nick Popplewell, Justin Bishop and Kieron Dawson.
Ahead of the game, hooker Byrne quipped: “Yes we are one year older, yes we are two steps slower but this year we are more competitive than ever.”
Following his starring role in the 2010 fixture, Jason Robinson returns to the English team alongside captain Martin Corry, Jason Leonard, Austin Healey, Mark Regan, Richard Cockerill and Andy Gomersall.
The Legends game was conceived to raise money for Stuart Mangan. Stuart, from Cork, was paralysed from the high neck down (C1 complete) following a rugby accident whilst playing for Hammersmith & Fulham RFC in April 2008.
Stuart required 24-hour medical care for his every basic need and so the Stuart Mangan Appeal was launched to fundraise. Patrons of the Stuart Mangan Appeal included Keith Wood, Ronan O’Gara and Jason Leonard.
Stuart sadly passed away in August 2009 having contracted pneumonia, but his family has decided to continue supporting the Legends game in order to raise necessary funds to support other injured players via the IRFU Charitable Trust, the RFU Injured Players Foundation and the RPA Benevolent Fund.
After Friday’s game there will be bands playing in the main bar with plenty of food and drinks to be had so fans can make a night of it!
Tickets – nearly 4,000 have been sold so far – can be purchased (adult tickets £10, kids £5) by visiting the official website at www.englandirelandlegends.co.uk.
Fans will also be able to pay at the gate for what promises to be another memorable evening at the Stoop. Good luck to both teams and well done on raising funds for the charities involved!
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