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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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Chelsea Stutter Sees Rivals Sharpening Their Knives

Chelsea

The last few weeks of the Premier League season look set for a thrilling battle, with just eleven points separating the top four teams with nine games remaining. 

Chelsea may still be the bookies’ favourites to win title, but their odds lengthened over the weekend as a wobble at home against Crystal Palace allowed Tottenham to close the gap to just to seven points.

Liverpool also moved three points closer to the long-time leaders, while Manchester City’s draw at Arsenal improved their balance by a point. One thing is for sure: if Chelsea were sitting comfortably on their ten point lead, they will be finding seven points decidedly less relaxing.

This Wednesday will see Manchester City visit Stamford Bridge for a game that will provide Antonio Conte’s side with an almost immediate opportunity to show their fans that Saturday’s loss was no more than a blip. As well as giving Chelsea a huge fillip, a home win would seriously dent Manchester City’s hopes, but another Chelsea loss would blow the title race wide open.

With so many ‘must win’ games remaining for the top teams, it’s impossible to see how the final weeks might play out.  A Chelsea procession, however, is looking less and less likely.

Liverpool could prove to be the dark horses, as they will avoid all the top teams in the remaining weeks, while, aside from Wednesday’s match, Manchester City’s only top-of-the-table clash will be their home derby against Manchester United. Tottenham, currently best placed amongst Chelsea’s rivals, have Arsenal and Manchester United yet to deal with.

Should Chelsea manage to maintain their current gap, then a home win against Middlesbrough on Monday 8th May will see them home. However, with a tough away game at Everton and both Manchester City and Manchester United due to visit Stamford Bridge before that fixture, it’s anyone’s guess as to what the league will look like at that point.

Chelsea may take some solace in the fact they are due to play at home against bottom-ranked Sunderland in the season finale, but they will be desperate to ensure they don’t leave it that late.

Having to win on the final day would come about only as a result of some very patchy late-season form, meaning their confidence would be low and their nerves frayed. With momentum firmly behind their rivals, a final-day shoot-out is not a lottery for which Chelsea want to buy a ticket.

If you would like to watch any of Chelsea’s unmissable remaining home fixtures from (the edge) of a seat in our first-class hospitality boxes, please click here to read more.

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Engage’s Top Five Sports Hospitality Events For Late 2016

Sports event, football

2016 has proved to be a vintage year for British sports fans.  Stellar performances so far include: England Rugby sealing a 6 Nations Grand Slam in Paris; Danny Willett following their lead with a Masters golf victory in April; Saracens winning their first European Cup in May; England’s rugby boys continuing their roll during an unbeaten tour of Australia in June; Wales making the Euro semi-finals, Andy Murray claiming his second Wimbledon tennis crown and Chris Froome take his third Tour de France title, all in July; England’s limited-overs cricket team’s summer-long dominance; and a cast of thousands, seemingly, coming home from Brazil in August clutching Olympic medals.

For those of you whose pulses have only just returned to normal, we’re glad to report that the fun is far from over.  The remaining months of the year promise several huge events, many of which you could enjoy with an Engage hospitality package.

So, to help whet your appetite, he’s our guide to the top five sports hospitality events between now and the New Year.

Rugby Union: England Autumn Internationals

Twickenham will host England’s Old Mutual Wealth Series on four consecutive Saturdays from 12th November to 3rd December.  South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia will be taking turns to have a crack at the host nation, who will field a confident squad bolstered by some exciting new talent.

It’s a great time to be an England Rugby supporter and, with the team being unbeaten so far this year, they will be favourites to win all four games.  Don’t miss out on seeing some of the world’s greatest players do battle in front of 83,000 passionate fans.

American Football: The NFL’s London Fixtures

The NFL has visited Wembley every year since 2007, with a total of 14 games having been played to crowds averaging over 82,000 per match.  2016 will be the third consecutive year that London has staged three NFL games and, for the first time, Twickenham will host one of the matches.

You don’t need to be an expert to enjoy the spectacle of American Football, where 25 stone monsters clash at the line of scrimmage whilst world-class sprinting talents patrol the wider spaces.

During the approximately 3hr match duration, the USA’s supreme athletes go head-to-head in a series of short, explosive passages of play, meaning it’s ideally suited to providing a comprehensive and novel corporate hospitality experience.

Golf: The British Masters

One of Europe’s most prestigious tournaments will this year take place on one of the UK’s most beautiful courses, The Grove in rural Hertfordshire.  Former World No 1 Luke Donald will be playing host this year, with Olympic Champion Justin Rose and Lee Westward joining him in a very strong field.

Sky Sports will add kudos to proceedings with live coverage and the course’s five-star hotel will provide the final touches to the ultimate luxury sports event experience.

Tennis: The ATP World Tour Finals

For those of you unfamiliar with the event, the ATP World Tour Finals sees the top eight male singles players and doubles teams of the ATP Rankings face off in two round-robin tournaments that each culminate in final matches.

First played in 1970, the event boasts the most illustrious list of champions imaginable, with Borg, McEnroe, Becker, Agassi, Sampras and Federer all having lifted the trophy.   Traditionally a nomadic event, the ATP Finals have now been played at London’s 17,500-seater O2 Arena every year since 2009.  As well as providing a sensational setting, the O2 also ensures there’s one world-class British tennis tournament the weather can’t ruin.

Novak Djokovic has won the past four titles, but Andy Murray is tipped to push him all the way this year, doubtless roared on by a partisan home crowd.  This, however, assumes they both overcome the not inconsiderable challenges posed by, amongst others, living legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Football: The Premier League

Perhaps requiring less by way of introduction, familiarity must not breed complacency when it comes to experiencing live Premier League games.

As the most watched league in the world, it generates endless drama and provides week upon week of sold-out games, vital clashes and compelling derbies at a host of state-of-the-art stadia.

Who wouldn’t be enthralled by a competition that sees world-class managers such as Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Arsène Wenger pitting players of the calibre of Eden Hazard, Sergio Agüero, Paul Pogba, and Alexis Sánchez against each other?  The big names are already rising to the top this season, so now is a great time to treat your clients or staff to a day the will never forget.

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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.

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Why Choose A Career In The Corporate And Sports Hospitality Industry?

Event Organisers

Are you looking for an enjoyable, exciting and rewarding career?  Are you interested in working in an environment that encourages creativity and offers incredible experiences?  If you answered ‘yes’ to the above, then corporate and sports hospitality might be for you.

Not your typical desk job

Event organisers

A career in corporate hospitality is anything but routine. You will generally work across a variety of events at all kinds of venues with clients from a wide variety of backgrounds.  Expect to work flexible hours in an interactive atmosphere, not nine to five at the same desk.

Perhaps the biggest draws are the events themselves.  How many people get to routinely go to world-class sporting occasions, outdoor team-building days or experiential events as part of their job?  It can be a privileged existence.

Corporate and sporting events – meeting new people

From celebrities and sports stars to leaders of industry, you’ll have constant opportunities to meet new and exciting people.  Along with all vast array of skillsets, you’ll find within the hospitality industry itself, it will keep your work life fresh and exciting.

Corporate and sports hospitality is all about making other people happy

Event organisers

The hospitality business is all about people, so your interpersonal skills need to be top drawer.

Your job on a daily basis would involve ensuring that clients have a good time, which could test your organisational or social skills.  You will be part of a team charged with creating memorable events and working together to deliver them to clients.  Few jobs offer such varied challenges and rewards.

Corporate hospitality – a creative experience

As well as being a people-oriented industry, corporate hospitality involves a great deal of creativity.  It offers the opportunities to create innovative experiences for your clients, ones they will talk about for long after the events and keep them coming back for more. As you dream up new ways to make guests feel special, you will need to learn new skills to adapt to the ever-changing role.

Sports hospitality

No two event experiences are the same

Engage Hospitality

Every event is tailored to meet the specific requirements of the client.  A corporate event could involve a fun day of team-building activities or a luxurious day at the races.  Either way, you will be guaranteed a vibrant work day.

To sum it up, knowing that you’ve played a part in making someone’s day special never gets old.  If this sounds like your dream job and you’re interested in the sports or corporate hospitality industry, then get in touch with us today.