Mr Toad’s, Dubai’s go-to destination for big-screen sporting action and tasty food and drinks deals, is offering rugby fans a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet some of the world’s most famous names in rugby when the World Cup kicks off next month.
Members of the 100 World Legends – including Frank Bunce, David Corkery, Paddy Johns, Fergus Thompson – will be at Mr Toad’s, Premier Inn Dubai Al Jaddaf from 9pm on Friday 8 September and Mr Toad’s, Premier Inn Dubai Investments Park from 4pm on Saturday 9 September. Aaron Persico will also be present on Friday night.
Join an exclusive, interactive evening of question-and-answer sessions, autographs, photo-opportunities, high-definition match viewing and the chance to win big prizes, including signed rugby balls, dining vouchers and Premier Inn hotel stays.
Hosted by Robbie Greenfield, sports presenter and co-host of Dubai Eye Off ## Extra Time, the four-hour events include live screenings of the first match of the tournament between France and New Zealand on Friday and the Ireland v Romania match on Saturday.
Table packages, include sharing platters, free-flowing drinks and desert at half time must be booked in advance. Prices are AED175 per adult (soft drinks), AED250 (house beverages) and AED100 for kids aged 12 and below. Guests also receive a two-for-one meal voucher for the next time they visit any Mr Toad’s in Dubai.
Secure your spot by phone or email, or visit @mrtoadsme on Instagram.
Dubai Al Jaddaf event (Friday 8 September): 056 411 4602 or email@example.com
Dubai Investments Park event (Saturday 9 September): 056 411 4599 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rian Potgieter, Operations Manager at Emirates Leisure Retail, which operates Mr Toad’s, said: “We are kicking off a great winter of sport by welcoming some of the world’s biggest names in rugby to our beloved Mr Toad’s. Following our hugely successful exclusive evening with footballing legend John Barnes last year, we’re delighted to host a two-night event for rugby fans to mark the start of the much-anticipated Rugby World Cup. It’s all part of our commitment to providing more of the unforgettable experiences and great deals that bring sports fans back to Mr Toad’s time and time again.”
Mr Toad’s and Premier Inn are hosting the 100 World Legends as part of their week-long visit to the UAE. The five players at Mr Toad’s exclusive events are:
Frank Eneri Bunce (New Zealand)
One of the original six who built the 100 World Legends Organisation, Frank played international rugby for both Western Samoa and New Zealand in the 1990s, appearing in the 1991 and 1995 World Cups. He played four international matches for Samoa and 55 for the New Zealand. He also played for New Zealand in NZRU's centenary games against a World XV, against the British and Irish Lions in their 1993 tour, in the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final, the first two Tri Nations tournaments and the victorious series win over South Africa in 1996. Frank, who captained New Zealand for a non-test game and played for the team in the first Sevens World Cup in 1993, also spent a season for Castres, Frances and Bristol, England before retiring in 1999.
David Corkery (Ireland)
David played for Ireland in the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa – and was named Ireland’s player of the tournament – after scoring in the opening game against the All Blacks and again in the win over Japan. Retired Irish rugby union player. He won 27 caps for Ireland between 1994 and 1999. During his career, he has also played for Cork Constitution, Munster and Bristol.
Paddy Johns (Ireland)
Paddy Johns played his international debut for Ireland in October 1990 against Argentina, in Dublin and his last appearance, again in Dublin, against Japan in November 2000, with wins for Ireland in both. He also played for his country in the inaugural Rugby World Cup Sevens in 1993, when Ireland achieved its best result in reaching the semis. During his career, he won 59 caps, scoring four tries and 20 points.
Fergus Thomson (Scotland)
Glasgow Warriors player Fergus Thomson was a member of the Scotland squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He won his first international cap at the age of 23 against Ireland at Murrayfield in a match that Scotland won 31-21.
Aaron Persico (Italy) – Friday only
Aaron made his debut for Italy against Scotland in the 2000 Six Nations Championship and was in Italy’s squad in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He won 56 caps and scored two tries for his country. He left Italy in 2003 to join the Leeds Tykes in England before moving to France to play for SU Agen. He is now based in Dubai, where he plays for the Dubai Tigers.
The legends will also be joined by Niall Stratham, ex-UAE captain and member of the UAE Dubai Sevens squad, his wife Veronica Stratham who has over 50 caps for Scotland’s women’s rugby team and Nasser Hussain, former Indian rugby union player and ex-captain of the Indian team.
Mr Toad’s will screen all Rugby World Cup matches at all venues across Dubai. Matches will also be shown at Premier Inn’s Lounge One outlets in Abu Dhabi and Omnia venues in Qatar.