With tours to Australia and New Zealand, the showdown between England and Wales will be a chance for players to secure their starting berths. Expect fireworks
Rugby World teamed up with leading corporate hospitality providers Keith Prowse, to talk more about the forthcoming Old Mutual Wealth Cup, England v Wales at Twickenham (SEE VIRTUAL TOUR). With a number of high quality experiences on offer, all within the Stadium, read on if you’re looking for some entertainment options on Sunday 29 May:
Q: What is the Old Mutual Wealth Cup?
A: New to the rugby calendar for 2016, this International on Sunday 29 May between adversaries England and Wales replaces the non-capped England v Barbarians match. Given the proximity of pending tours to Australia for England and New Zealand for Wales, Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland are expected to put out strong teams, with stars like George North, Anthony Watson, Dan Biggar and Mike Brown keen to prove their credentials and allow coaches to test new playing combinations ahead of the summer tours.
Q: Outside being the first chance to see Grand Slam champions play, why would I want to be in the crowd?
A: There is a rich history between the two sides and the rivalry, passion and competitiveness never disappoints. England and Wales have played each other at rugby union since 1881. There have been 128 matches to date – England having won 59 times and Wales 57, with 12 matches drawn.
Memorable moments are aplenty; Scott Gibbs in 1999 at Wembley, still referred to as the best try in Welsh rugby history (Wales 32: England 31) and in a Rugby World Cup year which saw England triumph (2003), they beat Wales in a closely fought quarter final (England 28: Wales 17).
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Leicester Tigers star, Ben Youngs recently described England v Wales matches as “special”, saying, “I love being a part of those games and when I’m retired if there’s one England fixture that people ask me to go to, England versus Wales is the one I’d watch”.
Q: When do we expect to hear more about the player selections?
A: Following the confirmation of the Aviva Premiership semi-final line-up (Exeter Chiefs, Leicester Tigers, Saracens and Wasps), Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland have announced their training squads that are, especially in Wales’ case, loaded with experience and talent.