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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Mandela tribute at rugby get-together

Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham met some of the world’s top rugby players at the Houses of Parliament.

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rugby legends: Workington MP Sir Tony Cunningham, second right, with, from left: Shane Williams, Francois Pienaar and John Eales

Sir Tony, who is chairman of the cross-party rugby union and rugby league groups, hosted former South Africa rugby captain Francois Pienaar, Welsh international Shane Williams and Australia’s most successful rugby captain John Eales.

Sir Tony said: “I am proud of my efforts to cement the relationship between the two codes and I spent the day with them and then hosted a black tie dinner.”

Snippets from Invictus, the 2009 film starring Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar and about Nelson Mandela’s plan to unite South Africa through the 1995 Rugby World Cup campaign, were shown at the event.

Sir Tony said: “Francois spoke movingly about Nelson Mandela and about how inspiring he was.”

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