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The heart of rugby union in deepest, darkest Surrey

Carl Hicks Carl Hicks | 10:35 UK time, Friday, 30 November 2007

What or who do you think of when you hear the name of Woking?

I'll give you three for starters - Paul Weller, Tim Buzaglo and Ross Archer.

Weller? The town called Malice's most famous son. Like Mozart, did almost all his best work before he was 25.

Buzaglo? Scored a hat-trick as the town's non-league footy team knocked West Brom out of the FA Cup and then turned up on Match of the Day with the match ball.

Archer? That's a tough one. He's one of BBC TV's finest ever VT editors and lifelong fan of the aforementioned footy team!

Well this week the Surrey town has become the centre of the universe for rugby union with the game's great and good at a three-day conference in the town to debate the future.

Items for discussion at the IRB-led gathering were how to solve a problem like Argentina - third-ranked team in the world but no current place at the international game's top table, making sure the game's minnows are not 'rewarded' for their World Cup endeavours by being excluded from the next one, and how to make the international calendar more meaningful.

TV companies may be important stakeholders in the game's future, but none were invited to the gathering - though we were questioned by the consultancy that prepared the agenda for the event.

Mind you, this week we'd have probably been too busy as it's a big weekend for rugby action on the BBC. It kicks off on Friday night with BBC Wales's cameras in Bath for the EDF Energy Anglo-Welsh Cup clash with Cardiff Blues. The game is also available via the red button on BBCi.

Then on Saturday our team, led by John Inverdale, is in Llanelli for the vital clash between Scarlets and Saracens. This could be our last trip to Stradey Park, for me one of the most evocative venues in world rugby, as Scarlets are set to move grounds at the start of next season.

Quins v Ospreys

And on Sunday it's BBC Wales again at Harlequins, where the home side need a four-try victory over the Ospreys if they are to make it through. Again this is available on BBCi via the red button. We'll also be sending cameras to Leicester and Wasps for their decisive EDF games against Sale and Newcastle.

But that's not all. This weekend the IRB World Sevens series gets under way in Dubai with teams from England, Wales and Scotland hoping to get off to a winning start in the eight event series. New Zealand may have blown the World Cup, but they took the World Sevens title in a dramatic final event at Murrayfield last May after Fiji had failed to go beyond the quarter-finals there.

You can watch the Sevens live, again via the red button or this website, on Saturday, at 7am and 2.15pm. Also on BBC TWO from 3.55pm on Sunday we will have the best of the Dubai action before a full round-up of all the EDF Energy Cup action including highlights of that Quins v Ospreys clash. The draw for the semi-finals of the competition will then be made live in the studio at around 5.20pm.

Our round-up show, dare I call it Rugby Special, will also include one final look at the mercurial, fleet-footed skills of Jason Robinson who takes his bow from rugby for the Baa-Baas against South Africa on Saturday.

Billy Whizz, as he has come to be known to fans of both rugby codes, is a true modern master. His blinding acceleration and elusive skills were legendary in league, and in the confines of the 15-man code he has remained one of the few capable of continually breaking modern defences - and was outstanding in two World Cups.

After their amazing World Cup turnaround England's rugby union team will be fancied for the Team of the Year award while Robinson is an outside contender for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award which will be chosen a week on Sunday. But for the likely winner of this coveted prize we need to head back to our new favourite Surrey town. For Woking is the home of the McLaren racing team and the working base for a certain young British driver.

He'd better stop dreaming of a quiet life...

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