Ian Marcus, Mark Rigby, Mike Friday, Ian Coull and Mark Cotterell talk rugby.
Ian Marcus, chairman, Credit Suisse's European real-estate investment banking division
‘I am old enough to remember playing rugby before there was professional rugby,’ says Ian Marcus. ‘I played for Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Hertfordshire and Saracens, playing as a fall back for each club,’ says Marcus. ‘I am a huge Saracens fan now, so I argue with Nick Leslau [part owner of Saracens] all the time.’
‘As an English man I have been disappointed with the English team’s performance to date in the Six Nations tournament. But I do have enormous faith in Martin Johnson, primarily because he is bigger than me but also because I am hopeful that he will be able to see us through.
‘But both Ireland and Wales are playing some excellent rugby at the moment,’ he says.
Mark Rigby, director, Open Property & Investments
As both an ex-player and as an executive chairman of London Wasps, it seems Mark Rigby has something of an inside knowledge of knowing just how the Six Nations tournament is going to end.
‘All of my predictions have been right so far, it is a pity I didn’t put any money on them,’ he laughs. ‘I get quite a good insight into how it is all shaping up because of some of the guys playing for the England team also play for London Wasps.
Rigby played flanker for London Wasps for 11 years, winning the league in 1990/91 and was appointed captain in 1991. He still captains the Wasps Legend team, though he admits they do not play very often.
‘You don’t need to have the wildest of imaginations to anticipate that Wales and Ireland will both arrive at the Millennium stadium for the final game on 21st March with the prospect of a grand slam. None of the games are straightforward, and it is typical of Six Nations to produce great sporting theatre.’
See blog.propertyweek.com for more predictions.
Mike Friday, Director, DTZ
Friday played professional rugby for London Wasps from 1993 until 2002 and for England, most recently in the 2001 rugby world cup in Argentina. He later coached the England Sevens side until 2006.
‘I’m definitely supporting England,’ he says. ‘A lot of the boys I had in the sevens circuit when I was a coach have now progressed into the senior teams so for me there is a real personal link. When I see the likes of Danny Care and Ben Foden, two players that I mentored as a coach, make the final leap into the squad, it is so pleasing.
‘I am not sure England will win It is a very open tournament, everyone will say Wales are the favourites to win, but Wales has got a very tricky fixture in terms of who they are playing and where. The big test was whether Wales coyuld overcome France.’
Mark Cotterell – BT, head of property
‘I am a Welshman and consequently rugby is what I grew up on,’ says Mark Cotterell.
‘The Six Nations is a great tournament because it is so unpredictable. So far I think it is following the form book as in the teams that you are expecting to win are, but this tournament tends to have at least one upset - in the sense that the team that is the underdog, comes through and wins the game. It hasn’t happened so far so we will have to see who will find themselves on the losing end when they were the favourite to win.
‘My predictions so far are the same as they were at the beginning - Wales will retain their title. That will be fantastic because I am on a promise for tickets for the last game [Ireland vs. Wales] and am hoping to be there.’
Ian Coull, chief executive SEGRO
‘I am supporting Scotland as always and my prediction is that Scotland will not win the championship this year – again,’ says Coull. ‘I think the safe bet is to say that Wales are favourite, and as they have been performing quite well they are on course to win. The Irish have been under delivering despite having a great squad for the past few years. They started well though, and they wont be far from the top of the table at the end. Those are my two predictions.’
Coull was involved with London Scottish as a player is now a member of the London Scottish board. He also admits to being a London Wasps fan, on a purely location basis as he lives nearby.
‘I played at London Scottish so I got involved with the club after I left as a board member,’ he says. ‘Rugby generally has a great fellowship of people, it leads to great friendships which are often started in the heat of the battle on a field, with a fairly aggressive relationship between competitors.’