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“Short & sweet” Your intro to the Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup gets underway in Japan today, 153 years in the making.

First played in Japan’s treaty ports, popular participation from Universities began in 1899 yet it would be another 33 years until Japan competed in their first International against Canada.

A country full of intrigue with its fascinating and multifaceted culture. Steeped in the deepest of traditions dating back thousands of years Japan is now on the frontier of popular culture with continually shifting fads, fashions and technological developments.

The 2019 World Cup is the 9th time the Webb Ellis trophy has been competed and the first time  outside of a test playing nation. The IRB have chosen a fantastic location to hold this year’s tournament, testament to their decision 16,000 fans arrived for Wales’ first training session in Toyota.

In short, 20 teams will compete across 4 groups over 12 stadia. The top two teams from each group will progress to the Quarter Finals, followed by two semi’s and the Final on the 2nd  November 2019 in the International Stadium Yokohama. New Zealand are the current World Champs having successfully negotiated two back to back tournaments.

One would suspect this year the outcome is not pre-determined which will only fuel the excitement and suspense for this incredible occasion. The top five teams in the World are currently Ireland, New Zealand, England, South Africa and Wales; each would argue they will be crowned 2019 World Champions.

The 2020 Guinness Six Nations will follow the World Cup and three of the top five teams are at Twickenham. England host Ireland on the 23rd February followed by the reigning Grand Slam Champions Wales on 7th March.

Engage provide official onsite hospitality within the coveted ICON Club. Arrive to a Champagne reception followed by a four-course lunch hosted by Rugby legends. VIP match seating and a post-match reception with match day player appearances makes for an unforgettable day at HQ.

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England overwhelm Six Nations champions Ireland

England centre Henry Slade scores a try against Ireland on Saturday

England Rugby manager Eddie Jones put another notch on his impressive record Saturday, guiding England to a 29th win out of 36 international Tests since he took the reins. To make the victory especially sweet, it was a conquest over Joe Schmidt’s formidable Ireland side at home at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. A testament to the power of Jones’ game-planning, England looked immensely strong as they took on the Six Nations champions, taking apart the host’s strategy and backing them into a corner.

Leading 17-13 by the 66th minute, England created a fantastic opportunity coming out of the scrum, Henry Slade first fed Jonny May the ball and then chased down May’s fantastic chip, a slick maneuver allowing Slade’s exceptional pace to seal the deal in a beautiful try. The work of both May and Jack Nowell on the wings was pivotal for England’s success in a terrific day’s rugby, with May’s opening try inside the first two minutes setting the tone.

Culminating in a 32-30 victory, Saturday represents potentially England’s most dominant win under Jones in contest with another top team, the four-try bonus point illustrating just how effectively they dismantled Andy Farrell’s defense, and the Irish squad taking a heavy beating at the hands of England’s driven intensity. Ireland lost Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and Devin Toner to injury. “I don’t think I’ve seen a game where our opponents got so many physical, dominant tackles, where our opponents have carried physically in the manner that they did,” the Ireland manager Joe Schmidt confessed after the game. However, England suffered the loss of star player Maro Itoje, a presence who will be sorely missed going into subsequent games.

Manu Tuilagi’s long absence due to injury was forgotten as he bulldozed his way into the match, a powerhouse playing with the destructive flair that he’s known for, and the Vunipola brothers showed their incredible athleticism and sporting quality. Overall, England looked stronger against Ireland than they have during the whole of Schmidt’s tenure as manager, and England fans will be hopeful that this impressive victory is a good omen for the rest of the tournament going into their match against France at Twickenham this Sunday.

As always, Engage Hospitality provide full official hospitality for all matches in the Six Nations, which is a gold standard for the corporate hospitality calendar and a superb opportunity to show your clients a rollicking good time alongside the best rugby in the world. Be sure to check out our on-site Twickenham hospitality as we are official ‘Good for Rugby’ partners with the RFU, and browse our rugby packages here.

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An Exciting Start for England Rugby in 2018

England v Italy, Twickenham 2013

Eddie Jones renews contract until 2021

Great news for all England fans, with the announcement that hugely successful coach Eddie Jones will continue until 2021. He will be working closely with the RFU in selecting the next chief of staff by the end of the 2019-20 season, hoping to maintain the new-found status quo.

Jones has won 22 of his 23 Tests since taking the role in November 2015, and says extending his deal was “not a difficult decision”.

The big question on everyone’s lips, and surely a guarded secret, is whether Eddie Jones will be at the helm for what would surely be the jewel in the crown. If Eddie Jones led the British and Irish Lions to victory in South Africa it would mark the first time since the 1950s that the Lions toured all three nations without conceding a series.

Italy vs. England Squad Announcement

Eddie Jones has selected eight uncapped players to face Italy on the 4th February at the Stadio Olympico.

Five fresh young forwards in the squad will have their mettle tested, as the Italians are well known for their aggression up front in the mauls and breakdowns.

When Italy came to Twickenham, they employed cunning tactics to try and disrupt the momentum of England. Fans are left wondering what they will have up their sleeve come Sunday.

England have never been beaten by the Azzurri, so hopes are high that a young-looking England team can maintain the current 95% win-rate, spurred on by the knowledge that Eddie Jones tenure is set to continue.

 

Engage offers hospitality for the whole Six Nations tournament, browse our selection.