Rugby Captains Dinner raises £240,000 for Restart Rugby and Willow, the Special Days charity

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In the midst of Rugby World Cup fever, Smart Experiences recently hosted the Rugby Captains Dinner, which took place at Battersea Evolution and helped raise an incredible £240,000 in aid of Restart Rugby and Willow, the Special Days charity.

Smart Experiences brought together six iconic World Cup wining captains on the night, Martin Johnson, Francois Pienaar, David Kirk, Nick Farr-Jones, John Eales and John Smit.

Each of the captains spoke about their experiences and how it felt to be crowned World Champions to over 1300 enthralled guests.

This spectacular event was hosted by former England international, Martin Bayfield, and as guests took their seats to enjoy a special menu created by Michelin-starred chef, Angela Hartnett, RFU mezzo soprano Laura Wright beautifully performed ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’.

Greg Lawson, CEO of Smart Experiences, said: “The Rugby Captains Dinner combined my passions of rugby and great hospitality experiences, which delivered not only a fantastic amount to charity but to our guests as well.

“It was an action packed evening of sporting entertainment, from Angela Hartnett’s enticing menu, to Ben Kay’s Bar Chat to Laura Wright with her amazing renditions of the two great English rugby anthems, culminating in the captains fascinating stories from their World Cup triumphs and insights into the 2015 tournament.

“I’m incredibly proud of my team that delivered not only the catering, but produced an outstanding and entertaining event, a truly memorable Smart Experience which we will continue on an annual basis, making this a truly landmark occasion.”

Damian Hopley, Group CEO of the Rugby Players’ Association, said: “It was incredible to witness the generosity of those who attended the Rugby Captains Dinner and I can’t thank Smart Experiences enough for staging such a wonderful evening and for supporting these two outstanding charities. The money raised on the night will help Restart Rugby and Willow to continue our fantastic work.”