Sport Thursday, March 15th Words by: Adam Knight

Where to watch the Six Nations finale in Herefordshire

Sport Thursday, March 15th

Where to watch the Six Nations finale in Herefordshire

Every twelve months, six countries who used fight wars against each other, get together to reignite those same long-practiced rivalries for seven weeks of international rugby (sometimes the England coach does that all by himself). Incidentally, the Six Nations' scheduling also has a habit of throwing up the kind all-day drinking sessions you usually have to get in fancy dress to get away with.

The final matchday for example, features three games played back-to-back, on St Paddy’s Day, with FA Cup and Premier League fixtures occupying any gaps in the action not filled by loo stops, runs to the bar or searching the pub for your novelty Guinness hat. This Saturday, you’ve got a lunchtime kick-off - with no (some) disrespect to Scotland - very much a curtain raiser, as the Jocks go to Rome. Then you've got a pair of heavyweight clashes that won't decide where the Championship goes - the trophy already has a seat reserved on Saturday's Heathrow to Dublic Ryan Air service - but they will decide something far more important: bragging rights.

First up, at 2.45pm the Irish travel across the water with the chance at just their third ever Grand Slam. If they beat a reshuffled English team, and throw off their own Twickenham curse in the process, they could resign Eddie Jones' side to an embarrassing 5th-place finish. 

In order for that to happen the Welsh would have to beat France in Cardiff in the 5pm KO (and the Scots would have to beat Ireland) - as if the Celtic nations needed any extra motivation to ram it down England's throat. Four teams could finish second, including those Gallic dark horses who have quietly beaten the reigning champs, and only lost to new champions at the hands of a miracle drop goal from Johnny Sexton.

Your best bet is to find a barstool somewhere as early as is acceptable, ease through your Gold Cup hangover with a few Guinnesses and hurl some well-worn stereotypes at any academically-challenged Irishman, Pimms-drinking Englishman, garlic-clad Gaul, tight-fisted Scot or romantic shepherd close enough to hear.

The action’s on terrestrial, so you’re not short of options – but if you want atmosphere here are some of the best.

The Wobbly Brewing Co

This one’s a bit different, but it’s also one of those If Carlsberg did Saturdays adverts - except instead of mass-produced Danish lager your perfect Saturday is washed down with some knockout beers fresh out of the brew house they were made in.

The self-proclaimed Hairy Welder and his brewers are opening up the doors to the Wobbly Brewing Company (on the edge of town, just off the Roman Road), and promptly erecting a big screen to show both 6 Nations clashes . £6 gets you in for all the games, a buger and a pint - and then it's only £2 a pint.

More here.


The Barrels, Hereford

Pros: Probably the best pub in the world. Loads of space. Screens inside and out. For England games they feed you with a bowl of whatever is traditionally eaten by the opposition (so spuds and whiskey?).

Cons: Will be busy – get there early for a seat. No big screen.

More here.


The Chequers, Etnam St, Leominster

Another Wye Valley Brewery pub, meaning it’s stocked full of HPA and Butty – and the new Wye Valley stout for the Ireland game (which is half the price of a Guinness). The Chequers has plans to open more of a sport bar, but for now it’s just what you need on a cold February – open fires, great atmosphere and a decent-sized screen.

More here.


The Drop Inn, Ross-on-Wye

The Ross-on-Wye rugby institution doubles as the local club’s post-match venue and is fills up pretty quickly on match days.

Games are be shown on a big screen, and although there’s no food, there’s more than enough beer and atmosphere to keep you going all afternoon.


Yate’s/Hogarths, Hereford

Not to lump the two in together, but seeing as they’re next door we might as well save some ink.

Both have loads of screens – Yate’s has some really big ones, Hogarths has booths with their own individual screens if you get there early enough – and are the two most Sports Bar-y listings on here.

They will likely be showing the FA Cup in the evening, Hogarths are giving out scratchcards that can win you a pint of the Black Stuff and Yates are doing a Breakfast And A Guinness offer for Paddy's Day for £5. Find both bars on Commercial Road in Hereford, stumbling distance from the Kerry if your night goes that way.

Update: Hogarth's are doing Guinness at an 80s-esque price of £1.95 a pint for Paddy's Day, which is quite literally cheaper than bottled water.


Hillside Brewery, Longhope

Just over the county line, but everyone knows the closer you get the Gloucester the better the rugby. This is another micro-brewery that's throwing a massive projector screen and opening its taps for the Six Nations.

They're showing all three games, will be pouring you off ale fresh from the tanks and have a live band on after.

More here.

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Gordon Bennetts, Hereford

The city centre pub/bar has put up some big screens especially for the rugby – inside and out – with a great area down the bottom to get in to the games. They’ve also got proper pubrock courtesy of The Forfeits on after the rugby, they feature a load of real ales and they’re open until 3am.

More here.


The Victory, Hereford/The Volunteer

Back in 'proper pub' territory - ran by Hereford Rugby Club stalwart, and staunch Welsh supporter, Jim Kenyon, the St Owen’s Street Victory has long been one of the best places to watch rugby in Hereford. And it's got it's own brewery out the back of the pub.

Depending on who’s playing there's often will be a hearty Irish stew, a hearty Welsh stew or a famous Kenyon Curry on offer regardless of whether or not you’re wearing red.

Around the corner, on Harold St, you can find the Volly. It's just a great pub, and it's across the road for the Territorial Army - that's about as Hereford as you get. They're putting on half-time food for the late game and have the brillinatly-named Sons of Yoda playing live afterwards.

More here, or here.

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The Bateman Arms, Shobdon

Another famous face of Herefordshire rugby, former Luctonians RFC legend and occasional master of ceremonies Simon ‘Norm’ Green-Price now runs the Bateman Arms in Shobdon.

A familiar spot for Luctonians players and coaches, The Bateman will be showing the 6 Nations on all its screens for those who are in the north of the county.

More here.


The Lichfield Vaults, Hereford

The food may be Greek, but when the rugby is on the atmosphere is defiantly more Northern European.

With rugby memorabilia all over its walls, ‘The Lich’ shows all 6 Nations games live on big screens, and, sport aside, is another gorgeous little ‘proper boozer’ tucked away on Hereford’s Church Street. Also, there's the pretty spectacular, 30m-high Remebrance installation just around the corner at the Cathedral - definitely worth checking out if you're in the area. 

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The Britannia Inn, Hereford

Comes complete with a dartboard and free sandwiches for England games. Welcome to Whitecross Road's finest boozer.

More here.


And finally - local rugby clubs 

Having said all that, without doubt, the best place to watch any rugby game is in the warm, often boozy, surroundings of a clubhouse bar.

Not only will you be surrounded by passionate fans - half of whom will tell you they could’ve played for England if it wasn’t for a knee injury in the 80’s - but these clubs are the lifeblood of the sport and they thrive off the revenue raised over the bar during international games.

Whether you have played the game, held water bottles on the sidelines of a mini-rugby practice, or just fancy popping in, you will be made to feel welcome at any of Herefordshires’s great local clubs. Get in touch with them to find out what's going on this Saturday. 

Luctonians RFC, Mortimer Park, Hereford Lane, Kingsland, HR6 9SB

Hereford RFC, Belverdere Lane, Hereford HR4 0PH

Ledbury RFC, Ross Road, Ledbury HR8 2LP

Ross-on-Wye RFC, The Drop Inn, Station Street, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7AG

Bromyard RFC, Tenbury Road, Bromyard, Herefordshire HR7 4LW

Greyhound Dog RFC, Grandstand Road, Hereford, HR4 9NG




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