Some of the biggest names in rugby history will be on show for the first ever Stuart Mangan Memorial Match, between England and Ireland Legends, at the Twickenham Stoop, on Friday, the 26th of February - the night before the two countries meet in the Six Nations, at Twickenham.
The match, sponsored by the Byrne Group, will be in aid of the Matt Hampson Trust and Keith Wood's Paralysed Rugby Players' Fund, in Ireland.
Tickets cost £10, concessions £5, unreserved seating, and are now on sale, from the following website www.englandirelandlegends.co.uk
England's team will be led by former captain Martin Corry, and will include several members of the 2003 World Cup winning team. England's most-capped player, Jason Leonard, will return to his former home ground, to take part.
Other heroes of 2003 who are hoping to take part are Josh Lewsey, Neil Back, Mike Catt, Paul Grayson, Mark Regan and Dorian West. They'll be joined by other recent internationals like Tim Stimpson, Darren Garforth, Garath Archer, Phil Greening and Nick Greenstock .
Ireland's team will be led by Shane Byrne and will include Mick Galwey, Peter 'The Claw' Clohessy, Reggie Corrigan, Victor Costello, Trevor Brennan, Derek McAleese, Maurice Field, John O'Neill, Justin Bishop and the evergreen Rob Henderson - a 2001 Lion, who's still playing club rugby.
Matt Hampson has won the admiration of rugby fans everywhere for the courageous way in which, to use the words from his favourite film, 'The Shawshank Redemption', he has 'got busy living', after being paralysed in a training accident with the England Under-21 team, in March 2005.
Despite being paralysed from the neck down, and being unable to breathe without a ventilator, he leads a full and active life and is the Ambassador for the Rugby Players' Association Benevolent fund
The teams will play for the Stuart Mangan Memorial Trophy. Stuart was just 26 when he passed away, on August the 7th. In April 2008, he'd suffered the worst possible spinal injury, while playing for Hammersmith and Fulham RFC, in London.
After spending seven months in hospital, he returned to his specially adapted flat in Bayswater, and resumed life. Like Matt Hampson, he never allowed his injury to affect his love for rugby and life - he was a proud son of Cork and Munster.
Like Matt, he was always cheerful, positive, determined and forward-looking. When he died, suddenly and unexpectedly, he was full of plans for the future.
He and Matt had become close friends, and had often discussed doing some joint event, in aid of their respective trusts. The idea for this game was conceived, while Stuart was still alive.
Stuart's family decided that the game should go ahead, as a tribute to him and that of the funds raised the Irish benefactor should be the Paralysed Rugby Players' Fund, which is run by Ireland and Lions legend Keith Wood.
The game will be refereed by former international referee Tony Spreadbury, who was overseeing the training session in which Matt suffered his injury.
The aim is for this fixture to become an annual event, and plans are already under way for the return match to be played in Dublin, in 2011.
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Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
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