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11 Lords-a-leaping As Parliamentarians Vie For Rugby Pride

The UK team list for today’s Parliamentary Rugby World Cup includes 11 Lords. But organisers are confident not a drop of blue blood will be spilled as they take on Japan in the last of the three matches scheduled for the day.

The most pain is likely to be caused by disappointed spectators kicking themselves because they have missed out on their chance for free tickets, says Tom Cudlip, Director of Rugby Council’s Housing and Environmental Health Department.

Tom, responsible for the Council’s tourism activities, said:

"This will be a great spectacle and it will really be a pity if people go along and find they can’t get in because they haven’t got a ticket. We gave away 100 on Thursday morning alone. We had 1,000 tickets left by Thursday lunchtime but demand is hotting-up and it’s a big risk that they won’t all go before Saturday and that some will be available on the gates. I urge everyone to pop into our new Home of Rugby Visitor Centre in Lawrence Sheriff Street to be sure of not being disappointed."

Some 2,000 spectators are expected to flock to Rugby School to see the parliaments of six nations vie in friendly competition. The tournament gets underway at just before 10am when Rugby School’s first XV Captain Tony Clark boots the match ball over the crossbar at Old Big Side – the pitch where William Webb Ellis invented the game in 1823.

It will be retrieved by 10-year-old Sophie Gelsford-Hill, a pupil at Dunchurch Junior School who captained the winning side in an inter-schools tag rugby event in Rugby earlier this year.

She will hand the ball to the match referee who will blow his whistle at 10am for the first match – New Zealand versus Ireland. South Africa take on France in the second match before UK meet Japan at about 1.30pm. Each match will last an hour.

As well as the sporting spectacle the crowd will be entertained to the sounds of Bilton Silver Band. The Rugby events area sponsored by Rugby Borough Council, Gardner Merchant, Birmingham International Airport, Rugby Chamber of Commerce, Alstom UK, Rugby Advertiser, Shoesmiths Solicitors, James Gilbert and Rugby School.

Peter Anderson, Rugby Borough Council  01788 533507


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CWN / Politics / Rugby Borough Council / 25 Sep 99

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