The Twickenham Rugby Experience

By: Shaun Parker

Twickenham Stadium is the home of English Rugby Union. The stadium is the biggest Rugby Union stadium in the UK and the second largest stadium in the UK. It is only smaller than Wembley Stadium. Although the stadium is primarily used for Rugby Union fixtures it does also house a number of other events.

It has a long history as a venue for music concerts and has held a wide variety of bands such as Genesis, U2, The Rolling Stones, The Police, Iron Maiden and the Eagles. It has also played host to The Rugby League Challenge Cup Final, the Guinness Premiership final and the Middlesex sevens. The stadium is probably most notable for holding the England international rugby union test matches.

Twickenham Stadium is owned and run by the Rugby Football Union. As a result the stadium plays host to a large number of rugby fixtures each year and arguably the largest and most prestigious of these games are the visits of the English Rugby union team. The English team play all of their home fixtures at Twickenham. This is unique amongst the home nation rugby teams.

The other teams have a national stadium but they also use a variety of other stadiums to play their fixtures throughout a season and as a result the Twickenham stadium is particularly prestigious. The stadium is also home to England's six nation matches and it invites teams that visit England to tour from the southern hemisphere. This typically happens every year and it usually takes place in November.

The Twickenham stadium also holds a number of high profile domestic rugby matches. It hosts the Guinness Premiership final and the Anglo-welsh cup. It has also been the venue for the 2006-2007 Heineken Cup final and also the domestic Middlesex sevens competition. It also plays host to a number of high profile amateur matches. It holds the annual rugby match between Oxford University and Cambridge University, the culmination of the inter-services competition the Army versus Navy match and it also becomes home to the English School's Daily Mail Cup final. As a result it is seen as the home of all types of rugby and the many different tournaments that take place there really add to its prestigious reputation.

The stadium solidifies its reputation as the quintessential rugby venue in that alongside the incredible arena it provides for rugby matches it also provides a museum that is solely devoted to rugby. The museum covers the history of the game. It is not solely focussed on the domestic game or how it developed in the UK; it also tells how the game has developed. It covers the whole of the global game and not just the development of English Rugby. The museum has a static historical section of the museum but it also has a rolling programme of special exhibitions. These special exhibitions cover topical issues and they often display some of the most obscure and bizarre rugby artefacts that have been sourced from all over the globe.

It is possible to tour the stadium when games are not being played. These tours take place on a number of days per week. Usually these take place four times a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. On match days people that want to take the tour will also have to have a match entry ticket. This can be a wonderful option for corporate hospitality.

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