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THE rugby world gathered for a special lunch to raise money for charity.

It was also an opportunity for people to show their support for our 125 Appeal.

The annual Rugby Lunch is a highlight in the fundraising calendar for St David’s Hospice Care.

On January 27, the Swalec Stadium, Cardiff, was the venue for the special event.

Rugby players and coaches past and present came together to raise funds for St David’s Hospice Care and Wooden Spoon - the children’s charity of rugby.

Lloyds Bank match funds the monies raised on the day which has now exceeded £120,000 for various local charities.

Compere for the afternoon was former rugby player and reporter Phil Steele. British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland was the guest speaker.

He shared memories from his career including two Grand Slams, a World Cup semi-final and an historic Lions series win in Australia.

On the day former players were delighted to show their support for the 125 Appeal. The consensus was that it’s a great way to raise funds for the vital work St David’s Hospice Care does.

Emma Saysell, CEO at St David’s Hospice Care, said: “The rugby lunch was a fantastic fundraiser with over 450 people attending. We are so grateful to Warren Gatland and Phil Steele for entertaining the guests with many informative and often amusing stories.”

“During the afternoon many celebrities expressed their support of the 125 appeal and had their photos taken. Phil Steele paid tribute to the appeal and outlined the difference the campaign will make to hospice care in Gwent and thanked the Argus for their fantastic support.”

Argus’ editor Nicole Garnon was also in attendance at the dinner.

She said: “It was a wonderful opportunity to be at the lunch. The 125 Appeal received a huge amount of support.

“It was great that Phil Steele mentioned the appeal on stage, which gave it even more prominence at the event.”

The 125 Appeal is gaining momentum with a range of fundraising activities organised across the region. We will be sharing some of these activities to inspire you to join the cause.

Join these rugby legends and show your support for the 125 appeal. Share our stories and fundraising page.

Tweet your support and use #125Appeal so we can share your messages.

You can donate £5 to the 125 Appeal by texting ARGUS 125 to 70500. This donation can help pay for tea, a sandwiches and homemade cake for patients using the hospice.

Alternatively, donations of any size can be made online on our special Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/sdf/SWArgus125

A donation of £12.50 will help the hospice buy a uniform for a nurse. It can also help them pay for art and craft materials for a child who needs support.

We are looking for more fundraisers to join the appeal to raise money to help with the huge cost of running the hospice.

We want to raise money to help with the different work that the St David’s Hospice Care does in our communities.

We also want to enable them to continue to offer the services they provide for free.

All fundraising ideas are welcome. If you can think of a fun, innovative or quirky ways you can use the 125 theme to raise money for St David’s Hospice Care then we would love to hear about them.

You can find out more and register your event at http://stdavidshospicecare.org/event-details/125-appeal/