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Are the Guinness Six Nations 2020/21 going ahead?

Guinness Six Nations

Introduction

The current situation of International Rugby and more specifically the Guinness Six Nations 2020/21 and Autumn Internationals here in the UK are rather unclear. Some of the biggest questions on the lips of rugby fans are “Will the 2020 Six Nations be completed?” and “Are the 2021 Six Nations going ahead?” In any ‘normal’ year this would be met with a resounding “Yes” however it’s clear that this is unlikely to be the case.  Let’s explore the impact of Covid-19 to the rugby calendar and how you can still watch the major upcoming events.

Will the 2020 Guinness Six Nations be completed?

The 2020 Guinness Six Nations will have its final round of fixtures completed in October. There are currently 4 men’s games to be finished. One Round-4 fixture: Ireland v Italy 24/20/2020 at the Aviva Stadium. Followed by three Round-5 fixtures all to be played on the 31/10/2020: Wales v Scotland, Italy v England, and France v Ireland. All matches are set to be played at their regular locations apart from Wales v Scotland where a venue has yet to be announced as the Principality is still in operation as a field hospitality.

What are the remaining 2020 Six Nations permutations?

England

The current standings after 4 almost complete rounds sees England top the group. Beating Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, a first Triple Crown for England in 4 years. England’s final game is against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico where they would expect to win and by a considerable margin. Tries will be the name of the game as the Championships could come down to points difference.

France

Second place France have an outside chance but have a tough match against Ireland at home at the Stade de France. A difficult task as the French are infamous for being slow starters, however, the French have recently had a resurgence under Jacques Brunel and defence coach Shaun Edwards (what a difference he has made) adding the required steel to complement French flair. To win, France would require England away in Italy to win by a smaller margin. Tough ask!

Ireland

The final team in contention is Ireland. Currently sitting in fourth they have 2 games remaining. Similarly, to England one of those games is away to Italy and if recent history is anything to go by this should be an Irish win and by a decent margin. Andy Farrell’s men then head to the Stade de France needing a second win to be crowned Champions. It’s worth noting a BP win against Italy and a win against the French would crown the Irish Champions irrespective of other results.

Will fans be able to attend the 2020 Guinness Six Nations?

Unfortunately due to the recent change in government regulation, the pilot scheme, which was intended to be rolled out in October and would have allowed fans back into stadiums for sporting events, has been pushed back.
The Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) met with officials from the respective governing bodies to announce the continuation to the ban of fans from sporting venues. The 2020 Six Nations is therefore likely to be completed behind closed doors.

Are the 2020 Autumn Internationals going ahead?

Typically, the Autumn Internationals would be played throughout November. This offers players and coaching staff alike the opportunity to pit their wits against the best of the Southern Hemisphere rugby powers. In recent years these Test matched have been seen as a barometer, the litmus test, to where teams are positioned in the World Rankings and ultimately who would likely go on to raise the most coveted of all trophy’s; the William Web Ellis Cup at the IRB World Cup.
This year however, has been affected by the Covid-19 virus which has put restrictions on the ease of travel often afforded to International Sporting teams. A period of quarantine of around 2 weeks and the risk afforded to players physically and mentally has been rightly deemed too high.

What is the Autumn Nations Cup 2020?

This is the new competition proposed by the IRB to run in place of the Autumn Internationals. The teams include those of the Guinness Six Nations plus Georgia and Fiji. Fixtures from November 13 (unfortunately it is a Friday, I’ve checked!) to December 6.
The teams are split into two groups and will play each other once. After the final round of group fixtures, winners of group A will play the winners of Group B. The second-place team in Group A will play the second-place team in Group B… you get the picture.
Twickenham, The Aviva Stadium, Murrayfield and the Stade de France have so far been confirmed as host Stadia.

England v Ireland – Premium Virtual Hospitality Package – 21/11/2020

England v Ireland is the stand out fixture of the new Autumn Nations Cup Tournament at Twickenham and we’re ready to give you the best possible experience outside of the home of rugby.

Behind Closed Doors is the perfect way to re-engage and entertain your clients where you can enjoy the full Twickenham matchday experience from in the comfort of your home.

On the 21st November, Engage takes you and your guest to an exclusive pre match cook along at home with former England Captain Dylan Hartley.

Everything you need for the perfect day of International Rugby will be delivered to your door, then along with our professional chef, Dylan will take you and your guests through how to cook the perfect rugby meal.

In the build up to the match you will be joined live for pre-match interactive chats with international rugby stars before tuning in to England v Ireland live on Amazon Prime.

Register your interest here or give us a call on 0207 048 4848 for further details.

Are the 2021 Guinness Six Nations going ahead?

The good news is the 2021 Guinness Six Nations are going ahead as planned. A full 5 rounds of fixtures and will compete as usual for the available silverware. An added incentive for the players and potentially coaching staff, is the opportunity to join the Lions Tour. To be on tour with the Lions is a special occasion, however to play against the World Champions certainly adds a level.

Register your interest here or give us a call on 0207 048 4848 for further details.

Will fans be able to attend The 2021 Guinness Six Nations?

Chiefs from the Guinness Six Nations have met with representatives from governing bodies to discuss ways to allow fans to attend the Championship. This could involve hosting the event later. Currently, discussions are in their very earliest stages and all options are on the table. It’s in the interest of World Rugby that fans are back watching matches as safely and as swiftly as possible.

Register your interest here or give us a call on 0207 048 4848 for further details.

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Engage Sports Events That Mattered Most In 2016

2016 has been a remarkable year in sports, from the England rugby team going a full calendar year unbeaten and Ireland taking their first win against the All Blacks, to Wales reaching the Euro semis and Andy Murray being crowned as World No.1, the list goes on.

Similarly, 2016 has been a noteworthy year for us.  From launching new facilities for sports events to changes in our team and new business partnerships, we did everything possible to make your experiences better.  So, before we gear up for everything 2017 has in store, let’s have a look at what 2016 meant for us.

1. The launch of the Player Management division

In a frighteningly competitive field, where a player’s life can change in an instant, we aim to give crucial support to emerging and established talents by way of:

  • Contract negotiation
  • Financial advice
  • Post-sport career planning
  • Development and management of commercial portfolios
  • Social media management, PR and brand development
  • Day-to-day support

Therefore, we introduced a new division later this year to set new standards in the care and support of elite athletes.

2. An increase in turnover

It’s been a record year for us delivering a 25% increase in turnover across more events than ever before!

3. Being the official hospitality partner at Lord’s

Engage Hospitality had the privilege to provide official corporate hospitality packages at the Home of Cricket for the Investec series.  In the historic surroundings of Lord’s, and while enjoying the trappings of a memorable VIP hospitality package, our guests caught up with old friends, forged new business relationships and cemented existing ones, with the added bonus of world-class cricket.

4. Office expansion in the heart of the square mile

Our offices in Moorgate have been taking on a new open plan look as we have expanded across the business we’ve taken on new space and redeveloped the old making sure we still have room for the all-important table tennis and pool tables!

5. New partnership with Gaucho at England vs Argentina

In November, we had the opportunity to create an impeccable accompaniment to England’s Old Mutual Wealth Series match against Argentina at Twickenham.  Our wealth of event experience dovetailed perfectly with Gaucho’s culinary expertise and saw the 400 places sell out in just four weeks.

6. The launch of 3 new look facilities

We are always investing back into our facilities to make your experience better. This year saw the new terrace at the Kia Oval for the One Day International delivering the perfect inside and out hospitality experience. The Autumn saw brand new facilities in The Rose Suite at Twickenham Stadium with new staging, production branding and interactive experiences, while outside the stadium we contracted a totally new structure for Twickenham Village with more reception space an decked terrace, themed bars and fully branded interior.

7. 4 new sales teams

We’ve been hiring new talent especially in our sales teams where we have created 4 new teams to promote our new facilities and deliver across all our events.

8. Appointment of Ugo Monye as Engage Ambassador

Ex-Harlequins, England and Lions winger, Ugo Monye, joined Engage in October 2016 as a business ambassador.  Along with attracting the best rugby talent and sponsorship partners, he hosts hospitality experiences for us at Twickenham, the Oval and Lord’s.

9. The launch of a new website

We launched a completely new website in October 2016 to provide our prospective guests with a seamless and hassle-free experience when booking packages.

10. Engage Reward Points Programme

We were keen to leave in no doubt just how highly we value our clients’ loyalty, so we introduced our rewards programme where they receive discounts from our partners, gain access to exclusive competitions, enjoy priority access to VIP boxes and, above all, the option to choose treats from our rewards list.

11. New Faces at Engage

2016 saw some key additions to our team to help us provide the highest quality of service and deliver Engage Hospitality’s core values – excellence, engagement and entertainment.

Joining us were:

Andrew Hodgkins as Managing Director
Eve Grant as Marketing and Events Executive
Harry Harvey as Director (Player Management)
Caroline Roberts as Head of Commercial
Sasha Colvile as Receptionist and Event Assistant

12. An amazing social media reach from 2016 Autumn Internationals

2016 Autumn Internationals recorded plenty of great hits, a few disappointments and some incredible tries. At the same time, this year-end rugby union helped us connect with over 2 million people across Instagram and Twitter. We garnered over 20,000 likes across both the platforms, over 2,000 comments on Instagram and 355 retweets.

13. NFL at Twickenham 

NFL debuted at Twickenham and our clients loved it.

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England’s Autumn Internationals

Autumn International - Rugby

A year can be a long time in rugby…

This time last year, England were heading towards a shock early exit from their home World Cup.  Today, just 10 months into Eddie Jones tenure as coach, they lie second in the world rankings and are chomping at the bit at the prospect of extending their unbeaten run on the hallowed turf of Twickenham.

England’s annual Autumn Internationals have long been one of the sport’s most celebrated showpieces and this year’s schedule looks set for some real fireworks.  With South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia all due to run out at Twickenham, it’s a good job the home side have found some serious form.

It’s fair to assume that any realists at England Rugby would have accepted two wins out of four when these fixtures were announced late last year, but a 6 Nations Grand Slam and an unbeaten tour of Australia have changed the landscape dramatically and nothing less than a clean sweep of victories will suffice for the home fans.

Engage are offering clients corporate hospitality packages for these sell-out events, so, to whet your appetite, here is a bit of background information on all the match-ups.

England vs South Africa, Saturday 12th November

The South Africans look to be in a transitional period, with a new coach trying to establish his systems in a squad that, despite it containing many established world-class players, has a fresh look about it.

England will be buoyed by the Boks’ losses to Ireland and Argentina in recent months, but there is no prouder rugby nation and the chance to put one over England in a city with nearly 60,000 South African residents, many of whom will be in the ground, will be all the motivation they need to produce a typically fierce display.

The form book will count for little when the first whistle blows, so England will need to be on their mettle if they want to start the series with a win.

England vs Fiji, Saturday 19th November

It’s great to see Fiji, the newly-crowned Olympic sevens champions, playing on the biggest of stages against a ‘tier 1’ nation.  As with all the Pacific Island teams, you can guarantee they will field a side dripping with pace and talent who will aim to play scintillating rugby.

If the Fijians tackled any harder, Eddie Jones would be inundated with sick notes from the England players’ mothers.  As it stands, with even bigger tests against Argentina and Australia looming on the following weekends, Jones’ team may feature a few exciting young talents, further ensuring a thrilling rugby spectacle.

England vs Argentina, Saturday 26th November

Argentina have been a major force in world rugby for a number of years and they will present as big a threat to England’s chances of a perfect autumn record as Australia and South Africa.

Taking place ten years after the Pumas’ last win in London, the huge Argentine forward pack and mix of talented and hard-running backs will test England in every department.

It’s also worth noting that, on October 8th, Australia and Argentina were at Twickenham contesting the first ever Rugby Championship fixture to be held in the UK, an experience that will have familiarised both teams with the stadium and lessened England’s home advantage for the approaching games.

England vs Australia, Saturday 3rd December

There has been no greater contrast in fortunes since the World Cup than between England and Australia.  The Aussies, in getting to the final, earned Michael Cheika the title of World Rugby Coach of the Year and England, in failing to progress from their group, earned Stuart Lancaster his P45.

Fast-forward a year and England have a Grand Slam and a 3-0 test series victory in Australia under their belts, while Cheika has overseen 6 consecutive losses, one short of the Australian record held for over ten years by none other than England’s Eddie Jones.

Having suffered a couple of maulings from the relentless All Blacks and a recent loss to South Africa, Australia will be desperate to build on a strong showing against Argentina, but we can’t yet be sure of the mind set in which they’ll arrive at Twickenham.  One thing that is a given is that nothing could motivate them more than the chance of revenge for the summer’s home whitewash at the hands of Eddie Jones and his boys.  Expect an absolute epic.

Click here for details of Engage’s Autumn International hospitality packages.