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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Geordan Murphy's Ireland v England Preview

Ahead of this weekend’s vital 6 Nations clash in Dublin, ENS discussed the match with Ireland and Leicester legend Geordan Murphy. A win on Saturday would give Martin Johnson’s men their first Grand Slam since the demolition of Ireland in 2003, although England will be wary that they have only beaten their Celtic neighbours once in their previous seven 6 Nations encounters.

“The head says England but the heart says Ireland. Everything suggests that England should clinch their first Grand Slam for seven years with some ease but it is rarely that simple when they come to Dublin. Although we have no Grand Slam, Championship or even Triple Crown to play for, it would mean an incredible amount to the Irish people to rain on England’s parade. However, we are going to have to improve drastically on our performance in Cardiff last week to challenge an England side full of confidence.

Most importantly we need to be much more clinical in the opposition’s red zone. We will need to take every chance that comes our way against England as they have the best defence in the tournament, along with Ireland, conceding only three tries so far.

The Ronan O’Gara and Jonny Sexton debate will continue up to the World Cup and it is a very tough one to call from an Irish perspective. I have played countless times with Ronan and know first hand the effectiveness of his game management but Jonny is also a fantastic player and will only improve as times goes on.

I think Saturday’s match is huge, not only in terms of determining the outcome of this year’s 6 Nations Championship but also in regards to the World Cup. We know that England have got a habit of producing their best rugby in World Cup years and to go to New Zealand on the back of a Grand Slam would be a huge confidence boost for them – just look at what happened in 2003 after they claimed the Grand Slam in Dublin. For Ireland, we know as a collective that we have the ability to beat any team in the world on our day and a win over England would reinstate that belief in the squad, providing the base for a successful World Cup campaign.”

ENSO with Martin Bayfield behind the scenes at London Wasps

<a href="http://www.linkedtube.com/-Eg_ad79Ndo5f80dd10dd1a057e67aff8af0852f111.htm">LinkedTube</a>

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Win a Rugby Ball Signed by a Legend

Be sure to ‘Like’ the ENS Facebook page within the next two weeks and we will automatically enter you into a prize draw to win one of 10 mini rugby balls signed by a rugby legend (usual ENS terms and conditions apply).

Just visit our Facebook page and press the 'like' button and if you are chosen at random, we will mail you your signed rugby ball.

Monday, 7 March 2011

BLOG: Battle Back

ENS is regularly involved with elite sportsmen and women but this week we thought we would check on the paralympic side of elite sport and we stumbled across something wholly inspiring.

‘Battle Back’, an initiative supported by Help for Heroes, was set up as the rehabilitation centre for wounded service personnel at Headley Court in Surrey in 2008. Battle Back is a Tri-Service initiative which aims to improve and formalise the use of adventure and in the aftercare of wounded service personnel in order to aid their rehabilitation and return to an active life.

Sport and outdoor activities have a proven track record in aiding successful physical and psychological rehabilitation, providing the foundation for the development of a positive self-image and outlook on life.

Injured soldiers are encouraged to use the facilities of Battle Back which introduces them to a range of sporting activities including athletics, golf, wheelchair rugby and sailing.

When first faced with the reality of a disability, many individuals experience a loss of confidence, depression, and believe that their active lives have ended. The sudden, traumatic change in physical ability makes them vulnerable to psychological and emotional stress which can alienate them from their friends and family.

A high percentage of injured are, having been so physically fit, highly motivated to get back to a normal active life and they see participation in sport as part of normalization. Having been involved in high intensity conflict the need to express themselves and to prove to themselves that they are still fit active young men and women is a very high priority.

The scheme has already proved very successful; two former patients, Mike Brennan and Peter Dunning, are now in the GB ski team having both of them lost both legs in combat.

Jon-Allan Butterworth recently (ex RAF) won the 1km time trial at the National Paracycling Championships and also set a World Record of 11.1 seconds in the 200m event whilst Pamela Grainger (RAF) also won a silver medal at the inaugural IPC shooting World Cup this year.

The resolve and drive to succeed in the face of extreme difficulties of these men and women really is inspiring.

For more information on the Battle Back scheme, please visit http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/battleback.html