Sean Fitzpatrick is Laureus Lunch guest: Nov 12

World Cup-winner and former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick is our special guest for our next headline-making SJA Laureus Sports Lunch on Tuesday, November 12, to which SJA members and other guests are invited to attend.

All-time great: Sean Fitzpatrick is the guest of honour at the SJA Laureus Sports Lunch on Nov 12
All-time great: Sean Fitzpatrick is the guest of honour at the SJA Laureus Sports Lunch on Nov 12

The SJA’s Lunches are generously supported by Laureus and are open to all working media, non-members as well as members.

There is a strict limit on the number we can accommodate, and priority is always given to SJA members and those first to book.

Attendance at this lunch at the Kings Cross dining club, The Driver, costs £17 (including VAT) for SJA members (associate and full members). For non-members, the price is £20 (including VAT).

England take on New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday November 16. Our event will begin at 12.30pm, with Sean Fitzpatrick speaking after lunch about the autumn international series, whether the All Blacks are unbeatable, as well as other issues in the modern game, and he will be happy to take questions from the floor on an on-the-record basis (unless he specifically asks to go off-the-record on any point, in which case we expect that request to be honoured).

Widely regarded as one of the greatest players ever to grace the game, from 1986, Laureus Ambassador Fitzpatrick played in 121 international matches, including 92 Tests, captaining the All Blacks for from 1992 to his retirement in 1997.

laureus_logoA vital member in New Zealand’s victory in the inaugural World Cup in 1987, Fitzpatrick played in more Test match victories (74) than any other player. He led New Zealand to a series win over the touring British Lions in 1993 and also led the All Blacks to a clean sweep in the first Tri-Nations tournament in 1996. He became the first New Zealander to captain a Test series win in South Africa.

He was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit by the Governor General in 1997. At the end of 1999, Fitzpatrick was named as hooker in Rugby World magazine’s Team of the Century. An accomplished and respected broadcaster on the sport, Sean Fitzpatrick is an Ambassador for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which works to improve the lives of children around the world through the use of sport.

Since its inception, more than £51 million has been raised and more than one-and-a-half million young people have received help. Currently Laureus supports more than 140 community sports-based programmes in 34 countries.

In charge: Sean Fitzpatrick in control during his playing days for the All Blacks
In charge: Sean Fitzpatrick, centre of shot, in control during his playing days for the All Blacks

This SJA Laureus Sports Lunch represents an outstanding opportunity for feature writers, chief sports writers and correspondents from regional as well as national newspapers and broadcasters for some headline-grabbing copy.

Payment should be made by cheque (payable to “SJA”). Anyone requiring a VAT invoice needs to advise us, and they will be sent such by the Treasurer.

Rights-free images from the event will be made available on request.

All attendees are also expected to make their best efforts to ensure that they make mention of Laureus and the Sports Journalists’ Association in their published or broadcast reports.

The SJA Laureus Sports Lunch will take place in a private room at The Driver dining club, 2-4 Wharfdale Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9RY, a short walk from Kings Cross mainline railway station and Kings Cross-St Pancras Tube.

Brunch will start at 12.30pm.

Places are expected to be in great demand and will be allocated on a first-come, first-reserved basis, with preference given to SJA members.

The cost is £17 (including VAT) for paid-up SJA members (full and associate members) or £20 (including VAT) for non-members. All attendees are expected to buy their own drinks.

  • Contact Mary Fitzhenry by email to (please indicate if you have other special dietary requirements; these have to be ordered in advance), and write “Sean Fitzpatrick Lunch” in the subject field of your email.
  • Payment, with cheques payable to the SJA, may be made on the day, or can be sent to the Treasurer, Sarah Juggins, Farrier’s Cottage, Lower farm, East Winch, Norfolk PE32 1NL. 
  • Payment may be expected from anyone who books a place but does not attend.

All details are subject to change. First posted October 14


  • Between now and the end of 2013, anyone wishing to join the SJA may apply, with their initial fee covering their membership through until the end of 2014 – effectively 15 months’ membership for the price of 12. Click here for more details.


Thu Oct 24: SJA Lunch with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Fully booked
Tue Oct 29: SJA Masterclass with Andy Dunn. Click here to attend
Thu Dec 12: SJA 2013 British Sports Awards. Bookings now open. Click here for details


Tue Feb 25: SJA Masterclass with Des Kelly. For more information, click here
Mon Mar 24: SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, Grand Connaught Rooms, London
Mon Apr 14: SJA Spring Golf Day: Croham Hurst GC, Surrey. Booking details to be announced
Tue May 20: SJA Masterclass with Janine Self. For more information, click here