The Lost Afternoon Rugby Luncheon is
the brainchild of Scotsman Malcolm Douglas who holds fond memories of similar
events in the UK. The concept is to bring together the rugby community in
the spirit of the game to renew friendships, relive past glories, and explore
ways in which to move the game forward.
Initially we had 3 goals:
- Demonstrate that
20,000 United States rugby fans will come out to support an international rugby
match, and that many of these fans will come on out the day before the match to
enjoy a day of rugby fun.
- Support youth rugby initiatives with donations to the Houston
Youth Rugby Association, Inc. (a non-profit 501 c (3))
- Have a great time
It's called the "Lost
Afternoon" for obvious reasons: once you get together with your mates in
such an atmosphere, the typical 90-minute luncheon turns into three hours - or
more - so you might as well stick around and fully enjoy the experience!
The extended time also provides the opportunity to hear from multiple speakers
and still have plenty of time to "network." It's not unusual
for guests to even book rooms or suites in the host hotel to continue well into
the evening, especially those traveling from out-of-town.
Past keynote speakers include:
- Eddie O'Sullivan - former Irish & USA coach
- Nigel Melville - Director of Professional Rugby for the Rugby Football Union & former England captain
- George Hook - RTE commentator & longtime friend of Texas Rugby
- John Rutherford - Scottish #10
- Rob Louw - Springbok legend & cancer survivor
- Brian Vizard - former Eagle captain and television commentator
- Roly Meates - former Irish coach & Leinster scrum guru
- Reverend Howard Haslett - Church of Scotland Minister and a long-time rugby referee
- Doddie Weir - Scottish rugby legend with 3 world cups and 61 caps
- Andre Watson - South African referee who refereed two Rugby World Cup finals
- Fergus Slattery - Irish great and a member of the storied 1974 British Lions side that defeated the South African Springboks
- Dan Lyle - USA Rugby's greatest player in the international arena. Dan was captain for USA and Bath. He won the Heineken Cup (European championship) with Bath and was a star in the English Premiership for years.
We are now entering our 10th annual event and are pleased to welcome Gavin Hastings. Gavin is a Scottish former rugby union fullback, who is widely regarded to be one of the best ever Scottish rugby players and was one of the outstanding players of his generation, winning 61 caps for Scotland, 20 of which as captain. He has played for Watsonians, London Scottish, Cambridge University, Scotland and the British Lions. He twice toured with the British and Irish Lions, to Australia in 1989 and as captain on the 1993 tour to New Zealand.
If this was done in England, or any of the traditional rugby nation, it would be impressive. That it was done in Houston, Texas tells you how serious we are about our rugby.
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