An artist's sketches of rugby players in action are to be brought to life as a 25ft bronze sculpture outside Twickenham Stadium later this year.

They were drawn by Pop artist Gerald Laing as part of his work to create a sculpture of a line-out, which is due to be unveiled in the plaza outside the stadium in May.

Despite admitting he is not an avid rugby supporter, it will be the fifth sculpture of rugby players Mr Laing has created for the stadium. His other four sculptures have adorned the west entrance for more than 15 years.

Mr Laing said: “The drawings were prepared in connection with my work at the stadium.

“My new exhibition features three or four pictures done at various points when I was looking round for ideas.

“It [rugby] is a great traditional subject for sculptures. The players are like gladiators.”

The sketches can be seen as part of the exhibition Gerald Laing Drawings 1942 - 2010: A Retrospective, at the Sims Reed Gallery in Bury Street, near Pall Mall. The drawings are available to buy for £2,500.

Mr Laing is currently working hard to complete the latest sculpture in time for the Guinness Premiership Finals, being held at Twickenham Stadium in May.

The huge piece of art will depict a line up of five rugby players, twice their normal size and will become a permanent fixture outside the Marriott Hotel.

The original sculpture was made in clay, scanned onto a computer and will re-created and set in bronze by the Black Isle Bronze foundry, based in Scotland.

Mr Laing said: “The models were made to three-quarters of the size and then scanned onto a disk and the originals broken down.

“I said ‘we better make sure we don’t leave it on the train’.

“I was surprised by how big it’s going to be.”

“It’s interesting what they’re doing at the stadium. They’re taking rugby as a moral and working with the community.

“It’s going to be a remarkable event”.

Mr Laing is regarded as one of the original wave of Pop artists, and pioneered the painting of huge canvases based on newspaper photographs or models, pilots and film stars.

Consisting of more than 100 drawings, the exhibition illustrates the rich diversity of the artist’s work spanning over sixty years.

For more information visit

• What do you think? Let us know by email (, phone the newsdesk on 020 8744 4271 or leave a comment below.