RBS 6 Nations Match Day Entertainment
Saturday, February 22 sees RBS 6 Nations action return to Twickenham for England's opening home game against an unbeaten Irish team. Following the agonising defeat away to France in Paris, and a strong performance against the Scots, Ireland will offer up an incredibly stern test of England's title credentials.
Ireland, under the guidance of new head coach Joe Schmidt, will be looking to avenge their defeat in a sodden Dublin last season, and whatever happens it promises to be a game that will have spectators on the edge of their seats.
With the match kicking off at 4pm, we would advise fans to enter the stadium at least 45 minutes in advance to enjoy the atmosphere building as the teams prepare to run out.
And that's not all – to enjoy two test matches for the price of one the Home of England Rugby’s the place to be for an England v Ireland double-header. After England men take on Ireland on Saturday, England Women run out on to the hallowed turf to face their Irish counterparts (and defending women's Six Nations champions) at 6.20pm.
Join supporters watching the men’s live action on Twickenham’s West Fan Village big screen then take your stadium seats for FREE as England Women run out on to the hallowed turf.
Support Team England and make this a double-header to remember. #carrythemhome
With the new and improved West Fan Village opening at 12.30pm and the pre-match pitchside entertainment starting at 3.15pm, the atmosphere promises to be second to none, so make sure you get to the ground well before kick-off and soak up the excitement. And if two games of international test rugby isn’t enough, we’ll also be showing Italy v Scotland on the big screens in the West Fan Village at 1.30pm.
Fly the flag
If you have a ticket in the east lower and east middle tiers, we’ll be asking you to help us turn the stadium white ahead of the National Anthem being sung. Show your support and help drive the team’s performance.
Photo: RFU Archive
The National Anthem will be sung by Laura Wright, England Rugby’s official anthem singer, with Ireland's Call being performed by multi-platinum selling Irish band, the High Kings.
Notching up over a million album sales, Laura Wright has been one of the decade’s biggest selling classical artists and the first female singer since Katherine Jenkins to reach number one in the Classical Chart with her album “The Last Rose”. Her second album was titled “Glorious”.
With a first-class degree from the Royal College of Music, Laura has toured with Alfie Boe and Russell Watson, was the first mezzo soprano to perform at the Olympic Stadium and opened the iTunes Festival for Andrea Bocelli. She has performed at the likes of the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Opera House with the Royal Ballet, Wembley Stadium, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and The Great Wall of China.
A familiar face at sporting events, Laura has also performed many times for HM The Queen. Her Diamond Jubilee Song “Stronger As One” premiered at Westminster Abbey and enjoyed a number one chart position on Gary Barlow’s Sing EP.
An accomplished sports person, Laura plays rugby for Rosslyn Park as well as raising money for charity in running and cycling events. Nominated for a Classical Brit Award in 2012, Laura went on to receive the PPL Classical Award at the Nordoff Robbins 02 Silver Clef Awards 2012, later becoming their ambassador. She is also an ambassador for Arthritis Research UK, having battled her own debilitating condition at a very young age. For more information visit www.laura-wright.co.uk.
Multi-platinum selling artists, The High Kings, signed to Sony International, had their fourth album “Friends for Life” produced by the Irish music legend Sharon Shannon. It showcases their energetic “folk n roll” sound.
Their versatility, vocally and instrumentally, brings a great acoustic flavour to original songs as well as some old favourites. They have headlined the Mayor of London's St Patrick's Day celebrations in Trafalgar Square and performed at the Official St Parick's Day Celebrations at The White House hosted by US President Barack Obama.
Not only will we have members of the military assisting in the flag parade at the weekend, we will be supported by the world-famous Band of the Coldstream Guards, who will be performing a set on the East Concourse prior to kick-off and will then assist with the anthems.
The Band of the Coldstream Guards, in existence for over 200 years of continuous military service, is one of the world’s oldest military bands, with the regiment formed in 1650. In 1661, shortly after the restoration of the monarchy, they were re-commissioned by King Charles II as household troops and had a Band of Music from 1742. This was, in fact, eight civilian musicians hired to provide music for the Changing of the Guard. A regular attested band was formed by the Duke of York in 1785.
The band has performed across the world and garnered international acclaim playing the American National Anthem in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace following the September 11th disasters.
Giant St George’s cross parade
Another great reason to get yourself to your seat early will be to see the unveiling of our giant St George’s Cross Flag with members of our military forces taking part it will be a fantastic opportunity to get everyone ready for the challenge ahead.
GUINNESS pre-match pundit
The GUINNESS match day pundit will be pitchside and on the big screen. Former England international Lee Mears, will be on hand to offer his views of the challenge that lies ahead for England and the players to look out for in this famous fixture.
Look out for the O2 Angels and O2 cannons at half-time for your chance to get limited edition O2 and England branded goodies. The O2 Angels will be parading around the edge of the pitch and firing out prizes into the lower tiers of the stands.
IBM’s Predictive Analytics software analyses historic and current rugby data provided by Opta, the world’s leading sports data provider, to provide valuable in-game stats. It gives viewers access to insights that will heighten their understanding of what to watch for in each game and explains what needs to be done to increase the likelihood of a team win against specific opponents.
The IBM TryTracker includes the “Keys to the Game”, which predict three crucial areas of performance specific to each team ahead of match day. If a side hits their target in these aspects of their game they will significantly increase their chances of victory. The data collected and provided by Opta for all England internationals is analysed by IBM, before being hosted on RFU.com. Visit www.rfu.com/ibmtrytracker to see the areas England need to target to optimise their chances of victory against the Irish this weekend.
O2 Inside Line Live
Look out for O2 Inside Line Live @ Twickenham as Alex Payne hosts exclusive coverage and interviews with special guests. For both of England's home fixtures and Ireland and Wales, fans will be able to follow news and views wherever they are via RFU Tv, the O2 Matchday App or via twitter @EnglandRugby.
Find out more about the RBS 6 Nations match day entertainment in our West Fan Village.