TWICKENHAM, ENGLAND – The last leg of what has been an exhilarating HSBC Sevens Series will be held here next weekend. This old, marvelous rugby museum has made for some tremendous rugby memories, including a 7s tradition that began with the Middlesex Sevens of 1926. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that the Cabbage Patch – as some refer to her – was already a teenager in 1926. The first 15s match – Harlequins vs Richmond – was held in October of 1909. The first international test – England vs Wales – was 3 months later in January of 1910. She got the nickname Cabbage Patch because the land was used as to grow cabbage prior to the RFU purchasing the property and building the stadium. Further, the grounds were later requisitioned during WWI for horses and cows to chow down. Apparently, all the lawn mowers were being used on The Front. Twickenham is also referred to as The HQ, according to our weekly witty contributor, Mathew Drew Turner.
Players love playing at Twickenham. We know first hand from the aforementioned Turner, who can’t wait to take the pitch for England this weekend. Granted, the expected capacity crowd of 80,000 won’t be booing him nor the rest of Ben Ryan’s troops, because this one’s a home game – but the other players are equally excited. Hats off to the IRB for making this venue the last stop… Always leave your audience wanting more…
Anyway… One can’t help but think of the other great rugby venues when considering Twickenham Stadium. In our research (Google & Wikipedia) we came across a solid piece on the topic by Graham Henry for the Western Mail in Wales.
What is your favorite rugby venue and what is one that you haven’t been to that’s on your rugby bucket list?