Leeds Student Magazine covering the Rugby World Cup 2015!
Featuring Phil Vickery, the Tongan national squad and so much more news from across the rugby world as the Rugby World Cup hits Leeds.
Rugby World Cup Winner wants more support for smaller nations
World cup winning legend Phil Vickery MBE who helped England win the trophy in 2003 hung up his boots a few years ago and now concentrates more on his Raging Bull clothing business. However, a decision to help out the Tongan World Cup squad has prompted him to make a general plea to the rugby community and the general public to get behind the smaller rugby playing nations.
“Teams like Tonga bring a huge amount to any world cup,’ says Phil. ‘They are passionate about rugby and hugely competitive for the size of their country. We at Raging Bull are providing them with their off field outfits to help the guys feel and look the part of a professional team but long term they need more financial support to compete on a level playing field with the bigger nations.
You only have to look at the skill and power of the Pacific Nations teams such as Tonga, Samoa and Fiji to see the talent is there in bucketloads. I know it has been said before but it is true that our sport could be truly global if we back some of these nations properly.’
The Tongan team just arrived in the UK and will spend some of their time based in Cheltenham before playing their first World Cup game at Gloucester’s Kingsholm stadium. They will also play in Exeter and face the mighty New Zealand All Blacks up in Newcastle.
Tonga’s High Performance Manager Peter Harding was delighted to receive support from Raging Bull. ‘It is great for the guys.’ he said, ‘as they are way behind most countries in what they earn playing rugby so feels good for them to be looked after in this way. For their outfit we have gone for a pink gingham check shirt with navy wool and cashmere sweater and smart chinos and the good thing is Raging Bull go up to 6XL..’
Phil concludes ‘It would be great if the public could adopt Tonga as their second team and make them feel they have the goodwill and support of the British public during what looks likely to be an absolutely epic World Cup tournament.’