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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Mathias

For the love of the game

Rugby is a sport that this blogger knows very little about. What I do admire is sportsmanship. Saw so much of it at the Premier Inn at Al Jaddaf Dubai on the opening night of the Rugby World Cup.

Rugby is now a popular sport in many countries of the world, with clubs and national teams found in places as diverse as Japan, Côte d’Ivoire, Georgia, Uruguay, and Spain. Rugby among women is one of the world’s fastest-growing sports.

At the turn of the 21st century, the International Rugby Board (IRB; founded in 1886 as the International Rugby Football Board), headquartered in Dublin, boasted more than 100 affiliated national unions, though at the top level the sport was still dominated by the traditional rugby powers of Australia, England, France, Ireland, New Zealnd, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.

The tournament kicked off on Friday September 8, with the hosts taking on the All Blacks at the Stade de France, before the final on Saturday October 28.

The atmosphere at Mr Toad’s makes it an ideal venue if you’re looking for somewhere to watch the Rugby World Cup this year. The staff are friendly, the food is affordable and most of all, you feel welcome.

Dishes are approximately Dhs 25, there’s an all-day happy hour where fans and newbees to the game can watch the matches on a big screen.

What stole the night for us was an opportunity to meet rugby legends – Frank Bunce, David Corkery, Paddy Johns and Fergus Thompson. The four shared anecodtes from their days in the stadium and posed for pictures.

While the grub, steak and popcorn rolled in, fans were treated to an evening of question-and-answer sessions, autographs, photo-opportunities, high-definition match viewing and the chance to win prizes – including signed rugby balls, F&B vouchers and Premier Inn hotel stays. We also received a two-for-one meal voucher for the next time visit any Mr Toad’s branch.

Open daily noon-1am. Premier Inn Hotel, Al Jaddaf (056 411 4602).

Open daily noon-1am. Premier Inn Barsha Heights Hotel, Al Khareef 2 Street (050 143 8751).

Open daily noon-1am. Premier Inn Dubai Investments Park, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road (04 885 1899).

Open daily noon-1am. Premier Inn Dubai Ibn Battuta Hotel (04 278 2222).

Open daily noon-1am. Premier Inn Dubai Silicon Oasis Hotel, E311 (04 336 3184).

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