Welsh Rugby Union’s finest, Matthew Morgan, Jamie Roberts and George North for T.M.Lewin’s new eveningwear range.
The mass Friday night office exodus will have been even swifter and more urgent than normal as spectators around the globe headed home (or very possibly to the nearest drinking establishment), to watch the opening ceremony and inaugural match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. If you’ve recently been in a coma or trapped under a toppled sideboard, there’s a chance you may have missed the TV ad campaigns, online coverage and general run-up to this major sporting event. In any case, we have all you need to know right here.
What’s Lewin Got to Do With It?
As the Welsh Rugby Union’s official formalwear supplier T.M. Lewin will be watching the sporting action with particular interest. We recently had three of the Welsh side’s finest players, Matthew Morgan, Jamie Roberts and George North fitted for evening wear and can attest that they are in fine fettle. The guys (shown above on our exclusive shoot, modeling the Fitzgerald Suit £278, the slim fit Marcella Evening Dress Shirt £44.50, White Pre-Folded Pocket Square (part of a set of 5) £20 ,the Black Satin Ready-Tied Bow Tie £25 and Grey Cat’s Eye Cufflinks £25) have their first match against Uruguay this Sunday 20th September, at the Millennium Stadium Cardiff and we wish them all the best.
Rugby not really your game? Here’s some background to the tournament and a few reasons to get involved. This is the eighth World Cup contest and the second to be hosted by England (the last being back in 1991). The tournament began in 1987 and has been played every four years since then. From fairly humble beginnings it has grown steadily to become a globally renowned event with twenty nations battling it out in the four final qualifying pools. This year the fact that three of the biggest teams, England, Wales and Australia are all together in pool A, has added to the sense of excitement and ups the stakes as only two teams from each pool can qualify for the quarter final stages. Over the next month and a half matches will be played all over England and in Cardiff, Wales. Unlike the England Football Team, our Rugby side has a great track record. They have twice been runners up (in 1991 and 2007) and are the only nation in the Northern Hemisphere to have ever been World Cup winners. New Zealand are the current title holders but no team has ever successfully defended their title in this tournament. Will history be made this year?
New Zealand – arguably the best team in the world – are always favourites going into the World Cup and this year is no different. At the time of writing William Hill were offering 6/5 on an outright win for the All Blacks. They do however have a reputation for choking on the world stage, leaving teams like South Africa (winners in 1995 and 2007), Australia (title holders in 1991 and 1999) and also England (2003 champions) to take the trophy. This year all four teams have a good chance with England benefitting from the home advantage. Other teams to watch include current Six Nation champions, Ireland and of course the French.
Ones to Watch
International Rugby Union has many stand-out stars including New Zealand flanker Ritchie McCaw, who is the most capped test rugby player of all time and is winding up an illustrious career. In contrast, the England team is a fairly new side but all eyes will be on talent such as our centre Jonathan Joseph. Here are ten more players sure to shine on the pitch this month:
- George North – Wales
- Bryan Habana – SA
- Stuart Hogg – Scotland
- Yoann Huget – France
- Johnny May – England
- Israel Folau – Australia
- Vereniki Goneva – Fiji
- Sergio Parisse – Italy
- Julian Savea – New Zealand
- Jonathan Sexton – Ireland
Really a rugby newbie? The RWC organisers will be handing out an ‘idiot’s guide’ for the uninitiated at games, but here are some terms you should know:
- A ruck – the pile-on which ensues after you’ve been tackled into the dirt and all the opposing team and your own collide into each other over your winded, prone body in order to gain possession of the ball.
- A maul – the struggle among players for a ball that hasn’t touched the ground.
- A hooker – stocky players who form part of the front row and try to get possession of the ball during scrums. They also throw the ball into play at line-outs.
- Springboks, Wallabies, Eagles – rugby teams are big on nicknames, many of them after the emblems on their shirts. Swot up to stay in the loop.
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