At every England home match at Twickenham the RFU Injured Players Foundation hosts rugby players with catastrophic and life-changing injuries sustained playing the game, in the charity's adapted hospitality box. Discover what happens on a match day inside the box.

The IPF hospitality box was donated to the charity by the Rugby Football Union in 2008 as part of the union's commitment to player welfare and supporting catastrophically injured players through the Injured Players Foundation. The purpose of this was to ensure rugby players catastrophically injured playing the game could continue to visit Twickenham to support England and be part of the rugby family.

The adaptations to the space include a widened door to allow wheelchair users to come and go from the box easily, as well as level access throughout, meaning injured players don't need to worry about any potentially difficult steps and can watch the game from their wheelchair on the terrace facing the pitch. In addition, the box is positioned in the corner of the stadium meaning any injured player who is unable to turn their head as a result of their injury has a full view of the pitch so they don't miss any of the action.

Inside the box there is plenty of space and one large communal table, so wheelchair users and non-wheelchair users can sit and eat/drink side by side, enabling everyone to socialise together, be they injured players, carers, or family members. The doors to the terrace outside are also fully automatic, allowing injured players to easily access the terrace and the inside of the box to watch the game, support their team and enjoy their time at HQ. The aim of these adaptations is to make the experience of coming to the IPF Box as stress-free as possible for all injured players supported by the IPF, so visitors can enjoy the day and the fan experience of being at Twickenham.

The social side of the IPF Box is another great benefit to injured players and family members, providing a great opportunity to meet others in a rugby environment, whilst watching a game. Visiting the box also enables the IPF Welfare Team to talk with injured players and in many cases discuss any ways more help can be offered if appropriate, to enable injured players to live more independently and access any support they need.

Nigel Melville, England Rugby Director of Professional Rugby, visited the IPF Box for the Old Mutual Wealth England v Samoa match to meet the injured players attending and said:

Thankfully serious injuries in rugby are rare but when they happen we've got to make sure that we look after our teammates and make sure that we embrace them, keep them involved in the rugby family, support them where necessary and then coming along to Twickenham to get behind the team it's just a great opportunity to be part of that, it's all a part of our rugby family and it's really, really important."

To find out more about the work of the Injured Players Foundation and how you can get involved to help make a difference, click one of the links below.


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