Rugby Legends: Pressure, reinvention, and playing for charity

Rugby Legends reunited at England Legends vs Wales Legends Charity Match organised by Harvey Thorneycroft.

We are mid-way through the Rugby World Cup and while England’s hopes may have been dashed there are many more exciting matches to come.

yBC recently attended an England Legends vs Wales Legends Charity rugby match organised by Harvey Thorneycroft. The match took place at Twickenham Stoop last month, on the eve of the England vs Wales Rugby World Cup match. It had a very different result to its World Cup counterpart with the England Legends taking the victory 33-21.

2003 Word Cup Winners

Harvey Thorneycroft invited yBC along to enjoy the festivities and talk to some of the players about their incredible careers and post rugby lives. These high achieving sportspeople could sympathise well with the pressures that the World Cup teams are facing at the moment. 2003 World Cup Winners Iain Balshaw MBE and Mike Tindall MBE gave their insight into being part of such a momentous global sporting event. Clips from both these interviews feature in the Harvey Thorneycroft RWC Legends Special Briefing.

We also spoke to former England 7’s captain Ollie Phillips, former England players Ollie Smith and James Forrester, former Wales player Shane Williams, and former Wales captain Colin Charvis.


Several of the players told yBC how they have reinvented themselves after stepping out of the rugby world and leaving behind the excitement and routine of competition. Some have entered the business world, some starting their own companies, and some have followed charitable pursuits and taken on new sporting challenges such as cycling and sailing around the world. Advice that came out of these discussions, for anyone making a transition in their lives, was to actively seek out opportunity and find something that you can be passionate about.

All the Legends players we spoke to were pleased to have the opportunity to get together and once again enjoy the camaraderie of the rugby environment.

Here is James Forrester on being asked to take part in the Legends match:

Every year HTL delivers a Legends fixture which is played on the eve of the RBS 6 Nations fixture, with proceeds going to charity. This February saw English Legends play Irish Legends in the Stuart Mangan Memorial at Donnybrook Stadium.