Simon Halliday is Ladbrokes Lunch guest on Mar 6

Simon Halliday, the former England rugby international, will be our guest to discuss the Six Nations’ championship, the RFU and 2015 Rugby World Cup at the SJA Ladbrokes Lunch in central London on Tuesday, March 6.

Simon Halliday: ready to talk rugby, Six Nations and RFU at the SJA Ladbrokes Lunch on March 6

Halliday played centre for Bath during the club’s golden era. He won 23 England caps in a side that won back-to-back Grand Slams and also reached the final of the 1991 Rugby World Cup.

Since injury forced his retirement from rugby, as well as pursuing a successful career as an investment banker Halliday has been very active in the game, working in the administration at Bath and at Esher and having been a long-time member of the RFU council and Club England.

A year ago, some newspapers tipped Halliday as a potential successor to John Steele as chief executive at the RFU.

Before Christmas, Halliday was instrumental in the staging of the Help for Heroes charity match at Twickenham, and his latest charity challenge is, at age 51, is to “run my last marathon”, in the London Marathon in April for C-R-Y, Cardiac Risk in the Young.

Our usual lunch protocols will apply – after a two-course lunch at the Olde Cock Tavern on Fleet Street, Halliday will offer his own perspectives on the Six Nations at the half-way stage in the tournament, ahead of England’s showdown in Paris the following weekend.

This SJA lunch, generously sponsored by Ladbrokes, represents an outstanding opportunity for feature writers, chief sports writers and correspondents for some headline-generating copy.

The lunch is open to those who are not members of the SJA, but places are strictly limited to ensure we maintain the relaxed, intimate atmosphere. So make sure you book your place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

The two-course lunch has to be booked in advance, and costs £20 (including VAT) for SJA members and £25 (including VAT) for those who have not yet managed to join the Association.

Journalists hard at work at a typical, headline-generating SJA lunch. Photo by Steve Rowe/SJA

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

As is usual at SJA lunches, our guest of honour is prepared to answer questions from the floor, although we expect attendees to respect their wishes if he makes any “off the record” remarks.

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

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

The SJA lunch will take place in a private room at the Olde Cock Tavern on Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AA, directly opposite the Royal Courts of Justice. The venue is served by several rail and Tube stations, include Charing Cross, Embankment, Temple and City Thameslink.

Lunch will start from 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 £20 (including VAT) for fully paid-up SJA members, and £25 (including VAT) for non-members, to include a two-course meal and coffee. Guests are expected to buy their own drinks.

Contact Steven Downes by email to (please indicate whether a vegetarian meal is required or if you have other special dietary requirements; these have to be ordered in advance), and write “Simon Halliday lunch” in the subject field of your email.

All details are subject to change.

First posted February 13