Why we all won the Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup final picture

I was fortunate enough to attend a few games at Twickenham for the England Rugby World Cup over the past few weeks, including the final last weekend.

Rugby is my first love, so naturally I was hugely excited about seeing some of the best teams in the world in action in my home town.

Thanks to the RFU Injured Players’ Foundation I often get to see 6Nations and Autumn Internationals. But obviously a home Rugby World Cup doesn’t come around nearly as often so the anticipation was taken up several levels!

While this country has proved it can stage the best sporting events in the world (London 2012 being a prime example), I truly believe England 2015 surpassed any other.

One of the main reasons I love the game so much is because it is all about inclusivity and to me that word defines this Rugby World Cup (though if England had won I may think differently!).

The first World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge at the Copperbox saw the sport televised as an event in its own right.

Not only did ITV give wheelchair rugby (and, in turn, disability sport) the coverage it deserves, many familiar faces including England Rugby internationals Jason Robinson, Maggie Alphonsi, Jason Leonard and Ugo Monye got behind the tournament. My talented ex-teammate Steve Brown provided the expert knowledge.

Alphonsi did an excellent job representing the women’s game and even the referees got in on the act. Nigel Owens and the other RWC officials gained profiles in their own right by showing the world how to manage games under pressure while gaining the respect of others.


My wife even got to see another side of the game with her involvement in The Pack. With 6,000 other members of the tournament’s volunteer force being lucky enough to get involved, it showed people’s desire to give up their time to help deliver an event to remember is still as strong as ever.

Rugby has always been about so much more than 30 people battling it out on the pitch.

My injury during a game in 1997 showed me exactly how much the rugby family pulls together during harder times. It introduced me to another facet of the game which culminated in me travelling the world, competing at three Paralympics and captaining my country.

I played Rugby Union alongside some of the people I travelled to Twickenham with last weekend. Many of them supported me throughout my sporting career. And while we celebrated and commiserated with fans after the match, I realised this tournament was just another way fans all over the world combine to ensure rugby is always the winner!

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