Rugby World Cup: Sports stars create eight rugby-themed burgers for Sunderland hotel

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Rugby icons have teamed up with a Sunderland hotel to create eight burgers celebrating the World Cup.

Former players David Flatman, Matt Burke, John Smit, Gavin Hastings, Jonathan Davies, Serge Betsen, Brad Thorn and David Wallace designed dishes based on traditional ingredients from their home countries of England, Australia, South Africa, Scotland, Wales, France, New Zealand, and Ireland.

The curious burger’s on offer will include pineapple and bacon, wild boar, Guinness chutney with beef brisket, and Dunsyre blue cheese.

The burgers will be available at Sunderland Marriott Hotel between September 14 and October 31, as the Rugby World Cup takes place.

Gavin Hastings, a former Scotland Rugby Union player, said: “Sportsmen, even retired ones, are notoriously competitive so the challenge of going up against some of my international rugby peers again was one I couldn’t turn down.

“Unsurprisingly, the burger I have created has some Scottish influences – blending the classic all-American burger with Dunsyre blue – a rich, salty and sharp cheese made in South Lanarkshire.

“With rugby in the spotlight, Marriott customers will have the chance to pick from a range of tasty (and wacky) burgers. If the other lads are anything like me, they’ll be eager to hear which are the most popular. I’m shamelessly going to be plugging mine in the coming months – go on, give it a try!”

Andrew Glover, general manager at the Sunderland hotel, said: “This is an exciting time of year for rugby fans, so what better way to celebrate than to pair with some of the sport’s biggest names, creating the ultimate selection of rugby burgers and toasting the successes with a glass of champagne.

“We have talented chefs at the hotel who will be using the finest ingredients to turn the designs into a reality.

“The rugby burgers offer a unique twist on the traditional Marriott Burger, which is a top choice on our existing menu.”

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