When a Welsh hooker met an English flanker…over an old boiler!

April 11, 2017

Wales and Gloucester rugby star Richard Hibbard tips Alun Wyn Jones for Lions captaincy as HomeServe’s own England rugby Grand Slam winner – engineer Marlie Packer – turns up to help replace his home boiler

Wales and British and Irish Lions star Richard Hibbard was stunned when his boiler packed up - and a Grand Slam winning England rugby international turned up to help tackle the problem.

 

England women’s flanker Marlie Packer, who also works as an engineer for home assistance provider HomeServe, made sure the Gloucester hooker wasn’t left out in the cold for long by adding the finishing touches to the newly installed boiler and heating system.

And when the job was finished – and the talk turned to rugby – Hibbard backed his Wales and Lions teammate Alun Wyn Jones to lead the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand in June.

 

When a Welsh hooker met an English flanker…over an old boiler!

Plumber Marlie, who was part of England’s triumphant Six Nations squad, answered Richard’s call along with heating and boiler installation experts from HomeServe’s South Wales franchise after the 33-year-old’s home boiler failed.

Together, the team removed the faulty boiler from Hibbard’s home and installed a brand new one – before Marlie made sure all the radiators were in good working order.

“HomeServe were fantastic,” said Richard, who played 38 times for Wales and three times for the Lions on their tour of Australia in 2013. “And seeing Marlie was the icing on the cake. It’s not every day another international rugby player walks through your door to talk about boilers and plumbing! And it wasn’t long before we got talking rugby over a brew.

 

“It was great to spend time with Marlie and to congratulate her personally on her Grand Slam win. It’s a fantastic achievement. And although England may have got the better of Wales in the Six Nations – in both the men’s and women’s games –there wasn’t too much gloating thankfully!”

Marlie was an ever present as the England women’s side secured a Grand Slam and Six Nations win in March. She added: “When I heard that Richard was having problems with his boiler I knew I had to get involved with tackling the problem. I resisted the temptation to rub England’s Six Nations wins in too much though!”

 

Richard’s house is a former nursing home with an old boiler and, only recently, he was faced with a problem with the main pump. Martin Barnfield and the team from HomeServe South Wales called to help and quickly replaced the part, but it was discovered that a new boiler was needed. The team completed the replacement boiler installation within a few days.

“We have three young children including a six-month old baby, so making sure the house is heated properly was a big priority for me,” added Richard. “But HomeServe made sure I didn’t have to worry about it.”

 

The final fixing touches were added by Marlie, who plays for table-topping Bristol Ladies. Richard plays for close rivals Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership.

And once the work was done, the talk between the pair turned to the upcoming Lions tour.

"I think Alun Wyn Jones would make the perfect leader for the tour,” Richard said. “Having played with him many times – and been with him on a Lions tour myself – I know how inspiring he is, on top of being a great player.

“He’s always the first on to the training pitch and he’s the last one off it. He’s just the ultimate leader and the ultimate professional in every aspect – whether that’s training, analysis or recovery.”

 

HomeServe is one of the UK’s leading home assistance providers with offices in Walsall, Preston, Banbury, Nottingham and London.

Its teams of approved engineers are also on hand across the country to help its 2.2 million Customers with a range of household repairs and maintenance.

“It was great that we were able to help Richard out so quickly, and we’re delighted that he had such a positive experience with us” said HomeServe South Wales Managing Director Martin Barnfield. “Unlike someone who gives every ounce of effort in the Gloucester rugby and Wales packs, we want to make things easy and effortless for our Customers!”

 

Find out more here:

http://ketchup.homeserve.com/blog/marlie-packer/six-days-six-nations-and-a-grand-slam/

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