English Rugby

How to Get More Members for Your Sports Club Using Social Media

North Herts Crusaders RLFC

North Herts Crusaders RLFC

Living in Hertfordshire and from a family where rugby union is the main rugby code, it is maybe a surprise that the author is a total convert to the “Greatest Game” of Rugby League. Indeed this is largely due to myself beinginvolved in the creation of the North Herts Crusaders. The Crusaders though only 2 years old have won 2 grand finals and the newly created East of England cup in their short history.


In our first year the plan was to get a team out every week but we exceeded that by putting 2 teams out on a number of occasions. In year two we again put out two senior teams and we also started out first ever youth team, the under 16s. Though the under 16s did not get entered into a league, they did however play established opponents and went unbeaten all season until their last game away to Coventry Bears which was the only loss for the young Crusaders. We also had eight players from our under 16s team who went on to being selected for the London Origins squads.


By any standards this has been a successful first two years for the Crusaders. How did we do it? We have been extremely lucky in attracting a top coach in Colin Baker, however how did we get so much interest in our club. Well that was my job to get as much publicity for our club and we somehow needed to make a much more effort in my view than a established club and indeed an established sport. Before the club was even started I created a Twitter account and quickly gained hundreds then thousand of followers with the last count being 6590 followers, which is almost as much as a SuperLeague club. In addition to this the Crusaders Facebook page also has well over 200 Likes. Our website is almost always in the top 50 rugby league websites on Pitchero.


However its not just the social media we are relying on, I also ensure that we are given lots of publicity in the local papers as this is where you will be letting the locals know that your club has arrived and to keep them informed. I have also been successful in getting us in national rugby league publications such as League Express, Forty Twenty Magazine and Rugby Club Magazine. I meet lots of people and its always pleasing to hear how the Crusaders are doing from others.


In this day and age Social media is very important for promoting your club and getting more people involved in your clubs. Its a great way to engage with potential players, volunteers and sponsors as in this day and age the young people are all on twitter, Facebook and many other social media sites and these are the people that we need to engage. In addition you should be getting press releases out in the local newspapers, with all clubs there is always a story that  can be interesting whether its your club or members of your club that are the topic.

North Herts Crusaders Win The East Of England Championship

Rugby League in Hertfordshire


The above combined with being friendly and welcoming on both training and match nights, something i have written about before, Please see HERE,


So if you are in need of getting more people involved in your club in whatever capacity, then there is always something that you can do. I give you a few here as i believe in the future social media is becoming more and more important. However this does not mean that you do not use more traditional advertising like flyers or newspaper adverts. Try and do a bit of everything but ignore Social Media at your peril.





1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 31, 2013 at 20:12

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby clubs, Rugby League   Tags:

North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Club Go From Strength To Strength

Spen Allison Presents Man Of Steel shield To Kyle Hughes

Spen Allison Presents Man Of Steel shield To Kyle Hughes of the North herts Crusaders

I am sorry for the lack of posts however i have been busy helping build a sustainable rugby league team in the south of England. Its been a great buzz and have really enjoyed getting the word out and trying to convert players to a game that i have grown to love. This last week we had our second ever awards evening and had the pleasure of the company of Spen Allison and Ikram Butt legends in the rugby league world, a world we are learning about and are loving it.

The much anticipated end of season Dinner and presentation evening was a sell out with over 72 guests that included players, partners, parents, sponsors and friends that have all contributed to the success story of the Crusaders. The venue was The Orange Tree In Baldock, who are also a club sponsor and along with Greene King kindly sponsored the food for the evening which was delicious.We had great honour of having as our guests for the evening Ikram Butt and Spen Allison. Ikram is and ex professional rugby league player having played at representative level for England, and at club level for Featherstone Rovers, Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants, and London Broncos, as a Wing. Ikram Butt was the first south Asian to play either code of international rugby for England in 1995.

Spen Allison as the second of our special guests. Spen Allison is a living legend within rugby league circles having been the long serving Chairman of the British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA) and now still involved as the Senior Vice Chairman of BARLA. Spen has been on the BARLA management committee since 1958 which is just over 55 voluntary management years to British Amateur Rugby League a great achievement and a great commitment to the greatest game.

The Crusaders had a lot to celebrate this year with the open age team going the league season unbeaten and winning both the East Cup and East Grand finals and making it to the quarter finals of the National Harry Jepson Cup. In the national cup we suffered our first defeat of the season at the hands of the eventual winners of the Harry Jepson Cup South London Chargers.

It was not all about the open age section as this year was the inaugural season for the newly formed under 16s team which shocked the Eastern Rhinos team in their first ever game and indeed when on to win all but one game this season. In addition to this we also had 7 under 16s players gaining representational honours playing in the London Origins where the best of north and south of the river Thames battle it out in a three game series.

Ikram Butt Presents Awards To Under 16s Players Player Of The Year

Ikram Butt Presents Awards To Under 16s Players Player Of The Year

First up for the rewards was the under 16s our special guest Ikram Butt was to give out the awards.

The Under 16s winners

Players Player Of The Year: Simon Taylor

Coaches Player of the year: Ruiri Shanahan

Top Gun Award: Charlie Parkhouse

Graduation Awards

Graduation awards are given to those players that break through from junior rugby to the open age team and we had 2 players that stepped up and performed admirabley in possibly our toughest game in the quarter final of the Harry Jepson Cup the two graduates this year were:

Charlie Parkhouse

Lewis Copsey


Open Age Winners

Players Player Of The Year: Evan Griffiths

Coaches Player of the year: Alex Nolan

Man Of Steel: Kyle Hughes

It was a tough decision to pick just three winners from each age group as there were many worthy winners. A huge well done and thanks for a great season.

We also like to reward volunteers that go the extra mile to help the club function and thus a special award which recognised the hard work and commitment throughout the season.

Crusader Of The Year: Anne Peterson

This wraps up the second season for the Crusaders which has seen great growth and ultimately success on and off the pitch. Thank you everyone that contributed in whatever way no matter how small as its with the involvement of great people that we can grow and continue to thrive as a club in North Hertfordshire.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 4, 2013 at 11:27

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby clubs, Rugby League, World Rugby   Tags: , , , ,

North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Club, East Of England Champions, Plan For 2013

North Herts Crusaders a rugby league club based in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire have had an amazing first season they managed to get to the East of England play off finals and indeed beat St Ives Roosters 63-30 which is quite impressive for a club in there first season. As you know the author has been involved with this enterprise since it was merely a thought in my mind and seeing this success has been amazing.

North Herts Crusaders Win The East Of England Championship

Rugby League in Hertfordshire

With this success we are not resting on our laurels we know that the club needs a lot of hard work to make us a great club and hopefully make us a club that goes places.


We have been working very hard behind the scenes to make season 2013 even better than the first. Next season we plan to run two open age teams every week with North Herts Crusader ‘A’ team playing in the London & South East Entry League. In addition we have great pleasure in announcing that we will also be establishing a under 16s junior team. Players in the age range 13 to 16 years of age that want to play rugby league next summer then please get in contact. The under 16s will have the opportunity to play other local teams.

The advantages for getting involved in rugby league and playing during the summer are immense. Not only do you get to keep fit during the summer but the demands of the game and the skills gained can and will help your all round rugby football skills as has been demonstared by some of our players, who are clearly better rugby union players as a result of playing league.

We at the Crusaders are very lucky to have former Harlequins RL and London Broncos player performance coach Colin Baker as our head coach. Colin has recently been awarded the prestigious London and the South East Regional Open Age Men’s Coach of the Year award. He will not only be coaching the senior teams but he will be assisting with the junior coaching also. We will be enrolling two of our senior players on Level 2 rugby league coaching courses who will then be able to assist Colin with both the Junior set up and open age team coaching.

North Herts Crusaders Against Kings Lynn Black Knights

North Herts Crusaders Against Kings Lynn Black Knights

This will As you can see the North Herts Crusaders is an exciting place to be right now and we hope to see more of you next summer and hopefully we can make the Cruaders grow even more. Pre-season starts in March/April.

Watch out for further announcements on this website HERE and please don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page.

Follow us on Twitter by clicking HERE

Like our Facebook page by clicking HERE

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 22, 2012 at 20:41

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby League   Tags:

Wheelchair Rugby League And The Mighty Bury Jigsaw WRL

Bury Jigsaw Wheelchair Rugby League Club

Bury Jigsaw Wheelchair Rugby League Club

Developed in France back in 2000, Wheelchair Rugby League was introduced to our shores back in 2005.
The game is quite unique in that it offers both disabled and non-disabled players the opportunity to compete both with and against each other.
No matter what gender or age all players compete on level playing field which is created by the use of wheelchairs and some slight adaptions of the rules of Rugby League.
A brief overview of the game includes:


  • There are five players on each side
  • The object of the game is to score tries
  • Conversions are scored by punching the ball over the mini-posts from a tee
  • Tackles are made in the same way as Tag Rugby by pulling off the attached tag
  • Five tackles are followed by the handing over of possession
  • Offside, knock-on and in-touch apply just like in the full version of the game


Wheelchair rugby league is an all inclusive sport which allows disabled and non-disabled players to play at the elite level of club and international competition ,the only wheelchair sport that allows this. The wheelchair rugby league world cup corresponds with the running rugby league world cup year and England are current champions, winning the competion in 2009.


Bury Jigsaw WRL was formed in 2009 after the world cup success and funding from a local charity called Jigsaw, which specialises in helping disabled people lead healthy lifestyles by participating in sport and physical activity. Paul McCormick, who works for Jigsaw and is a wheelchair rugby league World Cup winner with England, took the helm as coach.


Since formation Bury Jigsaw WRL  have played in the top tier of Wheelchair rugby league starting off slowly but eventually progressing into 2011 National champions, beating Halifax in the Grand Final 56-47. From this success they have acquired enough players to enter two teams into the league, one remaining in the Premier League (1st tier) and the other being entered at Championship level (2nd tier).


In their current squad of players Bury Jigsaw WRL  have the England coach, Captain and three Senior england internationals with two england development team players and the Scotland captain and a senior Scottish international player, although many players within the club are pushing for call ups for their respective countries.


Bury Jigsaw WRL  are at the midpoint in our current season with both Premierleague and championship sides in contention for their respective leagues.


As with any club Bury Jigsaw WRL  are always on the look out for volunteers that would like to help out at the club, sponsorship or people interested in playing the sport whether they be disabled or non-disabled.Rugby and sports and a sport that both abled bodied and disabled can play together on a equal footing. From my perspective it sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to get more people playing and being members of your club.


I would sincerely like to Thank Jack Heggie for this brief introduction to the sport and to to Bury Jigsaw WRL.


To find out more about the sport, or to give it a Try, please email Paul McCormick at jigsaw@bury.gov.uk and/or phone him on 0161 253 6308

You can also follow them on twitter @BuryJigsawWRL



Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 12, 2012 at 22:07

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby clubs, Rugby League   Tags: ,

The Making Of North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Club In Hertfordshire

 North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Football Club was formed in Letchworth Garden City in Hertfordshire which is not exactly a hot bed of rugby league. The area has many rugby union clubs the like of Letchworth rugby union club itself, Stevenage Town , Hitchin, Royston and Datchworth Rugby Union Clubs, there was no rugby league side in the area. Rugby League generally being played in the summer months means there is no crossover so players can play both codes.

North Herts Crusaders RLFC

North Herts Crusaders RLFC

St Albans had a well established club The St Albans Centurions founded in 1996 and Hemel Hempstead has the Hemel Stags who have been around since the 1981 and till now these are the only clubs in the Hertfordshire area. Now there is a new kid on the block, North Herts Crusaders.

North Herts Crusaders RLFC was founded by Mick Johal, James Tirrell, Liam Corcoran and Robin French. The story was that James Tirrell who had made his name in rugby union representing Saracens, England under 20s and England 7s teams and now the Rugby development officer for Letchworth Garden City Rugby Union Club, was looking for ways to further increase participation in sports in North Herts. James suggested the idea to Mick Johal who instantly thought this is a great idea for giving players a way to keep fit and sharp during the summer period and he ran with the idea. Liam Corcoran and Robin  French had a avid interest in rugby league and had often spoke about starting a team and thus were recruited onto the committee and a plan of action was put in place. North Herts Crusaders is a completely independent rugby league club with its own membership and sponsorships.

This was all going on in February 2012 and a meeting was arranged with The RFL and The North Herts Crusaders Rugby League Football Club was born with Letchworth Rugby Club as its home ground. The Crusaders were placed in the East Regional League – East along with St Ives Roosters, Bury Titans, Kings Lynn Black Knights, Bedford Tigers and Milton Keynes Wolves.

North Herts Crusaders First Ever Team against Bedford Tigers

North Herts Crusaders First Ever Team against Bedford Tigers

The Crusaders are now over half way through their league campaign, having shocked Bedford Tigers in there first ever game defeating them at their home 22-26. As of 7th July 2012 we have played 7 first team games and won 5 of them. In addition hey have fielded a second team on a number of occasions with their first ever game against Weald Warriors and running out winners by 84-30. Its looking very good for their first season.

North Herts Crusaders has been a huge success story they have registered over 50 players and have recruited a top coach in Colin Baker who comes with a lot of experience previously being a coach at Harlequins RL and London Broncos.

There is now plans to extend the membership by setting up junior teams so that  a pipeline that feeds into open age rugby league with players that already know the game. The Crusaders are very lucky to have the support of Letchworth Rugby Union Club who are one of the areas top clubs with a huge number of players, which gives the crusaders access to a talented pool of players, who want to play rugby through the summer months. The membership of the Crusaders is not solely based on Letchworth Rugby Club however,  they have registered players from a number of local rugby clubs with a split of around 50% letchworth and 50 % non Letchworth based players with players from rugby union clubs across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.

North Herts Crusaders V St Ives Roosters

North Herts Crusaders V St Ives Roosters

The advantages to Letchworth Rugby Club are numerous but primarily the clubhouse will be in  use all year round with added revenue to the bar and bringing new people to use the facilities who otherwise would never have done so. The advantage for the players is that they have been keeping fit and sharp in readiness for the Rugby Union season to start. This has the added benefit of having players that are match fit at preseason.

Players from different clubs are forging new friendships with players from different clubs and indeed from different sports as a number of their players are footballers who wanted to play competitive sport during the summer, hopefully these players will enjoy it so much they take up rugby league as there first sport.

The phenomenon of The North Herts Crusaders in Letchworth is is set to grow and grow already it has created much interest in both local press and the Rugby Football League itself. North Herts Crusaders have today over 2300 followers on twitter with the likes of Leeds Rhinos following them.

North Herts Crusaders are always looking for new players and coaches so if you want to be involved with Rugby League in Hertfordshire then there is only one club to choose that is the Crusaders. For Further information contact them through their website www.northhertscrusaders.com or email on info@northhertscrusaders.com

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 9, 2012 at 21:37

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby clubs, Rugby League   Tags:

Why Rugby Is Great For Children

Rugby is an excellent sport for young children to take up, and the earlier the better. Children, both girls and boys, can take up rugby based classes such as Little Ruggers which is based around the South East of England. At Little Ruggers they can start to play from as young as 2 to 6 years of age and then further their rugby skills at a rugby club at age 6 onwards. There seems to be a lot of misconceptions regarding rugby for children as parents may worry that rugby is all about scrums rucks and mauls and most of all big hits. It is natural for a parent to worry about this aspect of the sport however all rugby up until the under 9 age group will be non-contact, usually playing tag rugby. This then takes away the worry of your little ones getting hurt and at this age group both girls and boys will flourish.

It has been shown in especially in New Zealand where children get involved with rugby at a younger age that girls and boys can become quite expert at the the basics of rugby before the age of 6 as shown at Little Ruggers Classes. This is because children at this age are like sponges and have the amazing ability to absorb the lessons learned. If a child then goes onto to join a rugby club then the clubs can work on more rugby honed skills rather than teaching the basics, essentially it’s a leap up for them to go on and achieve great things.

In the UK it seems the choices for team based sports is somewhat limited in the past for 2 to 5 year olds there were not many options available unless you chose to do football, however these days new activities based around rugby are springing up around the country which will inevitably get more children addicted to this great sport and increase the playing numbers in the country for both girls and boys sections.

Rugby is unique in that specific human qualities can be learned. It has been shown that rugby can help develop better concentration, discipline, tolerance and determination. They learn to work as a part of the team they are taught to respect the coaches and referees and thus learn great manners.

Rugby helps to build a healthy body, healthy mind and creativity is instilled in such a child who takes up the game at an early age and that child will often bloom into a player with an exceptional eye for opportunity.

Problem solving, learning to take tricky decision and having confidence becomes a lot more developed as anyone learns the game. Rugby has the power to help youths develop the capability of analysing and deducing some general principles of life while dealing with complicated problems often bolstering their developing mental, social and physical agility.

A Little Ruggers Class

Little Ruggers Classes are fun

Benefits of learning rugby for kids:

  • The moral and ethical level of a child is developed by rugby thanks to the rugby laws of the game.
  • Necessary challenges are offered by a game of rugby which is quite a good thing for those children seeking to exlore and test their ‘wings’.
  • Developmental thinking is be cultivated in a child through a game of rugby – especially social skills.
  • Underachievers are most likely to be helped by rugby which promotes healthy competition.
  • Rugby is able to teach a child about teamwork, boundaries, rules and/or responsibilities.
  • The communication power of the child is improved through playing rugby, as are various team skills.
  • The concentration level of a child is enhanced by rugby.
  • Powers of evaluation and analysis are developed and so is the ability to strategise.
  • Rugby incorporates discipline – control of emotions, anger and aggression is key.
  • A child learns that the game ends on the sports field – respect for the opponent is instilled.
  • Playing a game of rugby can give one a sense of accomplishment.
  • I’m told that critical thinking skills of a child can be developed too.
  • The spirit of sportsmanship is enhanced.
  • Kids can learn problem solving through rugby and develop their own unique style of play.
  • It helps youths gain confidence.
  • Different patterns of play need to be recognized and it’s necessary for tactics to be learned and be developed by the child.


So come on give your kids a headstart get them involved in Little Ruggers to get maximum benefit from sports and particularly in social and sporting skills. Contact Little Ruggers via their website www.LittleRuggers.com.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 20:21

Categories: Childrens rugby, English Rugby, Mini Rugby, Sports Psychology   Tags:

‘North Herts Crusaders’, A New Rugby League Club In Hertfordshire

Rugby League A Fast And Exciting Sport

Come and play rugby league with the North Herts Crusaders

North Hertfordshire is now firmly on the Rugby League map with the formation of North Herts Crusaders, which will be based out of and sharing the facilities of Letchworth Garden City Rugby Union Club at Legends Land, Baldock Road, Letchworth Garden City SG6 2EN.

North Herts Crusaders was set up during the winter in preparation for their inaugural season in the East Division in the summer of 2012. The teams they will be playing against are listed below.

Bedford Tigers
Bury Titans (Bury St Edmunds)
Kings Lynn Black Knights
Milton Keynes Wolves
North Herts Crusaders (Letchworth Garden City)
St. Ives Roosters

There will also be a National Cup competition which will run alongside the league, which gives the Crusaders a chance of playing some of the top clubs in the country and the possibility of picking up some silverware.

Rugby League club is traditionally played in the North of England however the sport is growing in popularity in the south now too. North Hertfordshire now has its very own Club which should attract fans and players from across the region to play and watch games.

Liam Corcoran the founding Chairman said “In North Hertfordshire we have a number of large Rugby Union clubs and it is hoped we can attract players from across North Hertfordshire and beyond to come and help make North Herts Crusaders a major force in Rugby League”.

“The great thing about running a Rugby League Club is that there is virtually no cross over in terms of seasons dates, Rugby League being played in the summer and Rugby Union in winter. Therefore the two forms of rugby compliment each other perfectly and hopefully build camaraderie and friendships with players from different areas”.

“There was a strong demand for Rugby League club in Hertfordshire and it was felt that it was a great way to keep fit during the summer”.

“The desire for playing Rugby League in the area has been immense and we have already had over 35 players sign a intention to play declaration. We are looking to run more than one team so we are looking to run a 2nd as often as we can. In the future we hope to grow and introduce a ladies team, junior and mini sections”.

“We essentially aim to provide a sport that was previously unavailable in North Hertfordshire and with doing this we hope to attract Senior, Junior, Men and Woman players into playing and training Rugby League through out the summer”.

“We are looking for players at all levels. If you are interested in playing this fast and extremely exciting sport please contact them by emailing them  on info@NorthHertsCrusaders.com or via the contact form on our website by clicking HERE ” or going to www.NorthHertsCrusaders.com

3 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 1, 2012 at 14:19

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby clubs   Tags:

Southwark Rugby Club & the Lancers

A big thank you to Chris Callaway for this contribution, which is a great story of how he and a few friends set up Southwark Rugby Club in London’s inner city Borough of Southwark.
Southwark Rugby Club & the Lancers

Southwark Rugby Club & the Lancers

Looking back it was a strange decision to start playing rugby after 15 years of inactivity but I can honestly say that I have loved every minute of playing again over the past 4 years, I only wish that I had continued to play whilst I was at school. The catalyst to strapping on my boots had been the fact that as a business we wanted to sponsor a rugby team but had no real allegiance to anyone in particular. I decided to watch a local match and immediately knew that I would love to get involved with rugby again.

Not content with just wanting to play again I decided that the team we would sponsor would be one of our own creation. To this day I really cannot accurately describe how or why this decision was made but the club has just finished it’s 3rd full season.

Having contacted the RFU and asked for advice on setting up a club they pointed me in the direction of a junior team in inner city London who had been running for 5 years but had no senior team for the children to progress to. I met Vernon Neve-Dunn (founder of the Southwark Tigers www.southwarktigers.org) in the unfamiliar surroundings of Burgess Park which is situated just off the Old Kent Road and a million miles away from the leafy surroundings that you would normally associate with rugby. His brilliant vision had been to create a club for children who would otherwise never have come into contact with a rugby ball.

November 2007 saw the very beginnings of the Southwark Lancers, 4 friends throwing around a rugby ball on a cold Saturday morning in Burgess Park, nothing at all inspirational but a start. Friends of friends started to join and some replies to adverts meant that we had a motley crew of players ready for our first season playing in the Kent Metropolitan Merit Leagues. In fact we had managed to put together a useful team, many of whom had been out of the game for a number of years and had been keen to get back into the game. Our attractiveness was our central London location that can be reached in 10 minutes from Elephant & Castle tube.

We were pipped to top spot by Beckenham in our first season but managed to get promotion. At the beginning of our second season we had enough players for two teams, we were also approached by Niall O’Doherty who wanted to get involved with the club and who became our full time coach. We saw an immediate return and the 09/10 season saw us go undefeated and gain promotion mid way through the season.

Season 10/11 witnessed the club entering the proper national league structure and taking their place in Kent 2. We finally started to find our feet after the first couple of matches and strung some good results together ultimately finishing in 4th position.

This coming campaign will see us pressing for promotion but also looking to get our club structure in place. We rent our pitch from the council and at the moment we train once a week, the club has no club house (the excellent local pub is more than sufficient) and manages to field 3 full teams. I have been utterly shocked by the great success of the club and we hope to improve each year. It is a harsh reality that at grass roots level, participation is down and many clubs are folding so I continue to hope that Southwark Rugby Club will continue to buck the trend.

Whether you want to play or not Southwark Rugby Club are always looking for new players and social members. If you want to join a vibrant, friendly and welcoming club in Southwark please contact:

Chris Callaway on 07740419539

Email: info@southwark-lancers.co.uk

website: www.southwarkrugby.co.uk


5 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 9, 2011 at 17:05

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Ex-England Players Back O2 Rugby Reunion in Newcastle

An initiative that we at Rugbyclubman.com thoroughly approve of is getting more lapsed rugby players playing rugby again. From my experience there are lots of them out there.  If you have been out of Rugby for a while it can drop to the back of the mind and before long rugby is often even considered a possible alternative to going shopping on Saturdays. Sometimes all that is needed is for someone to plant the seed in the mind of these lapsed players and make them realise that a run out on a saturday could be the escape they are looking for. So it is the duty of all rugby club members to plant the seed in as many minds as we can. So everyone get on those phones and start getting those legendary teams back together again and get involved.

As a start join O2 Rugby Reunion this summer and make the comeback to end all comebacks. It’s time to put the old team back together and get back out there. Each event has food, drink, competitions, prizes and England players present.

Along with former England player Mike Catt, Rob Andrew, one of the North East’s favourite rugby sons, is backing Newcastle as the perfect venue for this weekend’s launch of the O2 Rugby Reunion campaign, a nationwide initiative supported by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to encourage players that have drifted away from rugby to reconnect with the game and their friends.

For more details and to get involved, check out the Rugby Reunion application on Facebook.

“The North East has a great reputation for welcoming visitors and providing them with a tremendous social environment and that should tie in perfectly with the O2 Rugby Reunion theme.” says the former Newcastle Falcons fly-half and Director of Rugby who is now England’s Elite Rugby Director.

“I think the O2 and RFU efforts to keep people in touch and involved in the game is a really good idea and the launch of the programme at Ryton RFC on the outskirts of Newcastle is an ideal choice.

“When any of us look back on our careers, memories of the early days and the characters we played with always remain vivid and precious. Ironically, while the 16/24 age group which this project caters for is probably the most vulnerable, it is also the period in which RU players get most out of the game and the friendships it generates.

Reunite old rugby friends

Reunite old rugby friends

“The touch rugby festivals in the O2 Rugby Reunion programme offer a perfect opportunity for schoolmates to rekindle the rugby spark and the use of facebook as a means of pulling teams together is a smart piece of thinking.

“I’m sure Newcastle, the capital of fun and social interaction for a while now, will ensure that the O2 Rugby Reunion series will get away to a great start.”

Teams have been invited to take part in one or more of a series of touch rugby events across the UK, culminating in a finale event, ‘The Big one’ in London on September 12, but more importantly, the project is aimed at bringing together players and pals who has drifted apart.

Aimed at reigniting players’ passion for rugby, O2 Rugby Reunion not only uses facebook to reconnect players with their old teams, but also offers an enrollment on the day option for teams who want to turn up and play.

A captain can register a team and interest in a specific touch rugby event, send invites to friends and confirm attendance at the event(s) once a minimum of six team members have been recruited. Teams can then opt to take part in either the ‘fun’ or ‘competitive’ category for their local event.

The programme is aimed at the 16/24 age group, where, because of further education and employment issues, it is easy for players to become detached and lose contact with the game and their former teammates.

The RFU has an O2 Pathfinder scheme in place which seeks to provide an aftercare and tracking mechanism once players move from the clubs and schools where they learned the game and O2 Rugby Reunion offers a chance for friends to get together again and have a run out.

Registration on Saturday opens at 10.00am, with the tournament getting underway after a team briefing scheduled for 11.00am. In keeping with the mood of the event, efforts will be made to accommodate all teams and individuals who share in the spirit of the O2 Rugby Reunion, even if their arrival is delayed.

And if Newcastle is out of your parish, why not get the ball rolling now and enter one of the remaining regional events. They are:

London, Old Deer Park – Saturday 31st July
Bristol, Portway Centre – Saturday 7th August
Manchester, Broughton Park RFC – Saturday 14th August
Coventry, Coundon Hall Park – Saturday 21st August
Dorset, Oakmedians RFC – Sunday 29th August
To register a team via facebook simply search online for ‘O2 Rugby Reunion’ – and start getting in touch with your rugby mates from yesteryear.

For further information on the Newcastle event please contact:
Tom Wilkinson on 07894 489096
Dave Reed on 07736 517728

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 26, 2010 at 10:53

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Go Play Touch Rugby And Some Touch Rugby Videos

Touch rugby Game in progress

Touch Rugby

Now that the Summer is allegedly here and the Rugby season is over its time to think about keeping active during the summer and keep in shape for the new season. Touch rugby is a fantastic way to keep fit without the contact and anyone can play.

Touch is one of the fastest growing sports in England, played by people of all ages and skill levels. Introduced from the Southern Hemisphere in the 70’s, touch is a fast, evasive, non-contact form of rugby. Touch is one of the few team sports where men and women compete on teams together not only socially but at an international level. There are currently approximately 12,000 people playing touch in organised leagues around the UK.

It’s a non contact version of the game and is thus much simpler to learn and to play as there is no tackling, scrummaging, rucking, mauling, lineouts or kicking. It’s a fun game and is ideal for beginners to get to grips with the basics In fact, it’s a great way to work on your running, handling and dodging skills.

In Australia and New Zealand there are more registered touch players than the 15-a-side game and this trend is set up to be the case in the UK.

A touch rugby tournament hosted by Letchworth Rugby Club in Hertfordshire UK. This annual Summer touch tournament starts Wednesday 2nd June 2010. This is the fourth year of the Letchworth Touch tournament and every year it grows from strength to strength. Most of the teams are made up of members of Letchworth Rugby Club however teams from other clubs and organisations are invited and welcomed. In recent years there has been teams drawn from the RAF, various football teams, teams of parents from the junior and mini sections, Veterans, as well as current players from Letchworth including junior teams older than under 14s and girls sections.

The touch tournament is a fantastic success for Letchworth Rugby Club and the growth and popularity of rugby in general. It enables players, parents, coaches and to socialise and get to know each other and creates a cohesion within the club that otherwise would not be there. It has been known to enticed some to dig out there boots from the loft and start playing again.

In addition to these positives, it also helps the club with takings over the bar, raises the profile of rugby in the local area and most of all it attracts more potential players to the game, which is excellent for the game overall.

This annual touch tournament starts Wednesday 2nd June and of 10 at £100 per team. You will receive free team t-shirts and there will be a big Finals Party with a barbecue and fun for all!

It’s a real family day and families are encouraged to come along and join in.

An excellent idea for any club wanting to increase membership and raise the profile of their club and get more people discovering how fun and great exercise touch rugby is. Perhaps you would like to start a similar tournament over the summer, its a win win situation for any club willing to hold a summer touch rugby tournament. So if you fancy keeping fit and trying out touch rugby get in contact with your local rugby club and see if they have touch rugby during the summer.

A Short video explaining how to play rugby. There are variations to the rules played however the basics of touch rugby are explained here.

A video of some some touch rugby being played in New Zealand. This is the standard we must get up to, well maybe not yet but with more tournaments and touch rugby leagues, maybe we will get there.

Clips from the Dawgsouljahz touch team at the whakatane touch tounament in New Zealand.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 31, 2010 at 12:54

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby clubs, Tournaments, Womans Rugby   Tags: , ,

Multi-cultural event points way ahead for Bolton Rugby Football Club

Having been to many rugby clubs across the country it is apparent that ethnic communities are under represented in the make up of Rugby Clubs, even in areas that have a big ethnic populations. Bolton is one such area and they stand to gain a lot from inviting them into their club and making the them aware of what the rugby club stands for.

Bolton RFC earned plenty of points for thinking ‘outside the box’ recently when they staged a bumper programme of music, dance and family entertainment entitled the Halliwell Cultural Festival at their Avenue Street headquarters.

The event, designed to bring local people together in a celebration of food, music and dance that represented all the different cultures of the community, ran from 10.30am until 1am the following day, with a kaleidoscope of free activities and entertainment which helped to introduce the club to a hugely cosmopolitan audience from across the district, many of whom were visiting the rugby club for the first time.

The whole event was aimed at families with children and comprised such diverse groups as a Caribbean steel band, morris dancers, a gymnastics team, a rapper, a folk band, a Somali dance group, a bouncy castle, birds of prey, a climbing wall, tug of war, krishna temple bollywood dancing, food from different cultural groups, a live radio outside broadcast and a Bolton Wanderers FC display and stand.

The rugby elements focused on showcasing the club and its facilities via a social event which flagged up the ambition and resource of Bolton RFC by demonstrating the enthusiasm and imagination to put together an event which brought well over 2,000 visitors to Avenue Street.

“We have raised our profile in both Halliwell and the wider Bolton area which will hopefully bring wide ranging benefits in the years to come,” said Chairman Mark Brocklehurst.

“While we operate as an independent club it is not possible for us to survive and prosper on internal funding alone. Being a community focused club is therefore very important when it comes to looking for future revenue streams, as well as the obvious player recruitment that can be gleaned from the Halliwell area.

“The Greater Manchester Police Deputy Chief Constable, Simon Byrne, who came down on the day said, that in 22 years of policing it was the best, most organised and community friendly event he had ever attended, praise indeed from a man who spends his life visiting shows and festivals.”

The ethnic communities are on the whole untapped from a rugby point of view and anything to encourage the participation in both playing and being a part of the club should be encouraged.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 26, 2010 at 19:00

Categories: English Rugby   Tags: , , ,

RFU Grand Draw raises money for your club

Grassroots Rugby wins big in Grand Draw

Is your club registered?, if why not get yourselves registered for a chance to win some great prizes and a great way to raise money for your club and grassroots rugby generally.

Clubs, schools, referee societies, Constituent Bodies and universities across England have raised nearly half a million pounds for the game thanks to the latest RFU Grand Draw.

Organised by the RFU, the Grand Draw encourages institutions throughout the game to sell prize draw tickets, and across England £475,000 worth of tickets were sold since summer 2009. With 90% of that money (£420,000) staying with the institutions who sell the tickets, it brings the total raised for grassroots rugby over the six years of the draw to £2.2m.

Leading the way in sales this year has been Truro School, who shifted a mammoth 11,370 tickets in the RFU’s annual raffle.
And thanks to their efforts in the RFU Grand Draw, the Cornish school raised £10,233 for Max Levene, their 17-year-old schoolmate who was seriously injured while playing in October last year.

This year’s draw of the 60 prize-winners took place at the London Marriott Twickenham Hotel on March 30 – the first anniversary of its opening – with General Manager Paul Davies, his staff and guests joining RFU President John Owen to pick the winners, including the £10,000 first prize from England Rugby sponsors Investec.

A record 708 institutions entered, and Owen said: “The RFU Grand Draw is an effective and simple way for clubs, schools and universities to raise funds and its success over the last six years has been phenomenal. It gives them much needed income and at just £1 a ticket a great chance for people to win quality prizes.
“I must make special mention of Truro School. To sell that many tickets is an amazing effort to help Max, a very courageous young man, and they should be applauded, as should all the 100 schools who entered.”

The RFU Grand Draw is a simple and risk free way to raise funds for your club. Each year the Draw Society organises a pool of fantastic prizes for the draw. RFU registered clubs, schools, colleges and Referee Societies are then eligible to receive a quantity of free Grand Draw tickets, from which they keep 90 per cent of all sale proceeds.

The 2009/10 Grand Draw was made at the end of March this year. With a top prize of £10,000 donated by Investec, second prize of a pair of Business Class return air tickets to Dubai courtesy of Emirates plus 38 other great prizes, ticket sales once again raised tens of thousands of pounds for the game.
As well as the Grand Draw prizes, there were also awards for the clubs who raised the most money and returned their tickets on time.

The benefits to your club

Each year the Grand Draw provides clubs and schools with everything Online Generic pharmacy they need to take part in the fund raising: tickets, instructions, promotional material – even the postage is pre-paid. This means:

• No cost to your club
• No risk to your club
• Minimal time in organising ticket sales
• You receive 90 per cent of the value of the tickets sold as a tax-free donation

With the current economic climate making it harder than ever to raise funds, the Grand Draw gives your club or school and excellent opportunity to help itself.

Details of the 2010/11 Grand Draw will be available in August this year.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 8, 2010 at 14:46

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How To Increase Club Membership With One Easy Step

Having been to lots of rugby clubs in both UK and Europe, I have found that some clubs are more welcoming and have a better atmosphere than others. What are the ingredients for having a welcoming and friendly club? I will be looking into how you can make a simple change to increase playing, social members and sponsors.

During training nights a number of new players can turn up. This is a critical time for these new players because if they don’t get the right vibe then these players may not come back and some other club will have their services. Therefore it is important that their first impression of your club is a good one. All new players should be greeted and welcomed to the club the moment they arrive. This is not just the job of the club captain or coaches as they may not be around at the time. It is the duty of ALL players and all officials around at the time. Introduce them to the other players prior to commencement of training and then after training have a brief chat with them to ensure they enjoyed themselves and find out a little bit about them and their aspirations, regardless of there ability to pay in the first team.

This is just common sense, I hear you say, however I am surprised the number of players that have ended up at my club having previously trained with another local club, stating a negative experience at training, for example no one spoke to them. They were not made to feel welcome or just did not like the vibe. Any decent rugby club would have retained these players if they had just been more welcoming at training and it should not matter if they are first team potential or whether they are beginners as these guys will go on to be paid up members of the club if treated well. More members are better for the success of all teams and for the clubs coffers.

I visit lots of different rugby clubs around the country, when I am not at my local rugby club on a Saturday. This may be to visit family in another part of the country or on holiday somewhere. I will always pop down the local rugby club and have a couple of beers and watch a game of rugby, much to my wife’s annoyance. I was impressed with a particular club in the Midlands that I recently visited.

What did they do right? I was greeted first as I walked into the bar area by a man in a suit, who later turned out to be the chairman, we shook hands and he welcomed me and mentioned that he had not seen me down there before and I had a brief chat with him about the weather and the likelihood of a win for the home side and I made my way to the bar. Please bear in mind this was a match day there were lots of people about and I could have easily have gone in there and no one spoke to me all day as what has happened on a number of visits to other clubs. The chap behind the bar was very friendly too asking me if I was from the opposition and whether I was new to the area. I explained to him I am visiting the wife’s family and just popped out to watch a game. He called me a top man, always nice to know.

Again after the game I had a beer before I headed back to face the in-laws. During the course of the day the Chairman introduced me to a number of people I honestly felt at home here like I was talking to old friends. I walked away feeling I had made some good friends and most of all a very positive opinion of the club and if I had lived nearby they would definitely had me as a member. As I visit my in-laws from time to time, I have visited a number of clubs in that area and some are not as friendly as this particular club needless to say, I will be going back next time I am in the area, at least they have gained a supporter who knows may take my boots along and get a game with there vets team.

You should always be on the look out for new faces on match days and training and say hello to everyone and at least acknowledge them as I understand it can be a busy. The next new face you see down your club could well be a potential player, member or even a sponsor. Lots of potential players turn up on match days just to check out the vibe of the place and see if it’s a club they would like to play for, it’s important not to let these people leave with a negative view of your club and its important to get them onboard.

ALL club members are ambassadors of the club. There is no passing the buck and saying it’s not your job, it is your job it’s the job of all club members. It is very obvious and a simple concept but it seems some clubs just aren’t good at it and are losing potential players and members. So lets be more welcoming, lets get more players, supporters and sponsors into your rugby club and lets keep them, its as simple as saying “Hello” and a smile and if someone looks lost help them out, unless you are a club close to mine, then keep it up please, we like the steady flow of players from your clubs.

On the whole rugby clubs are in fact very friendly and unique places however unknowingly you can become so caught up in what you are doing and sometimes can overlook this very simple thing. I would welcome comments on this subject and if you have experienced unfriendly clubs let me know what made them unfriendly and why you never stuck around (please don’t name these clubs). If you are a club member then I would like to hear what you do to make your club more welcoming for potential players and members.

5 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 29, 2010 at 16:53

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby clubs, World Rugby   Tags:

The Inaugural Woodford RFC Annual Invitation 7s Tournament

Rugby sevens will become an Olympic sport in 2016 at the Rio de Janeiro Games such is the growing popularity of Sevens rugby. Not only is the popularity growing on the world stage also more and more tournaments are being created across the world catering for players at all levels of play. One rugby club in England will see its first sevens tournament this year, Woodford Rugby Football Club.

Woodford Sevens

Woodford RFC 7s 24th April 2010


Woodford are to hold their inaugural rugby 7s invitational tournament at the Highams on 24th April 2010. This will be a one day event with around 14 teams participating.

There will be a high standard of rugby sevens with teams drawn from London and Essex and some from further a field. Fun for all the family is guaranteed and some of the attractions include Bouncy castles, Entertainers, hog roast and BBQ throughout the day and a competitively priced bar open all day.

The best bit is that its absolutely FREE to come and watch, so if you live in the area pop down, bring the family and join in the festivities make a day of it. In addition there will be a Late night Party with DJ from 8 and drinking into the early hours all are welcome to stay.

Woodford have ambitions for this tournament to grow next year with the possibility that it will be a 2 day event with around 20 teams participating and with camping facilities to aid further drinking.

It’s still not too late if you want to enter a team into this tournament the costs are below. However be quick as places are going fast.

£100 entry per team of 10
£250 prize money for the winners.

They are looking for strong club sides, University reunions, and wandering 7s teams so get your entries in as soon as possible to ensure your place.

Contact Elliott Kayser on 07525 367 473 for further details.

Woodford RFC
High Road
Woodford Green

Tel: 02085046769

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 23, 2010 at 08:42

Categories: English Rugby, Tournaments   Tags:

Towcestrians Rugby Club stage World Record attempts

What a fantastic idea. I came across this article on the RFU website and this got my mind racing. I was thinking what similar things you could do down your club. This is just one of many novel ways of raising funds and raising the profile of rugby in general. I would welcome suggestions.

So if any of you would like to be a part of history or even watch a very long game with lots of players then get involved and contact them on the email address below it looks like it will be a good day out and help them raise some money for worthwhile causes.

Towcestrians bid for longest match and most players records
Busy weekend for Northamptonshire club

Northamptonshire club Towcestrians will attempt to set a world record for the highest number of players ever to play in a rugby match at their Greens Norton Road ground over the Easter weekend.

Towcestrians aim to play a match last between six and seven hours on Saturday April 3 which involve rolling substitutions to allow them to establish the record.

Towcestrians hope that their attempts to play the longest ever rugby union exhibition match and the match involving the most players will be validated by the Guinness World Records. Neither have been attempted before.

Towcestrians have invited clubs from Northamptonshire and East Midlands to take part in their record attempts and also hope to encourage illustrious former players, including former Northampton Saints stars, to take part.

The record attempts will form part of a busy weekend for Towcestrians which will also include fund-raising for the Help for Heroes, Royal British Legion and Wooden Spoon charities.

The weekend will also involve a beer festival starting at 7pm on April 2 and a music festival involving local bands The Bromptons, H2 and Reflexions.

Further information is available from David Taylor at david.taylor@towcestriansrfc.net.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 21, 2010 at 13:43

Categories: English Rugby   Tags:

How a Rugby Club Should be Run?

I came across the following video whilst browsing youtube. It seems to be a promotional video for Havant Rugby Football Club who play in National League 3 South East which is the fifth tier of English rugby. It outlines some of its aims and ambitions for the future. I think that it gives a glimpse of a well run and ambitious rugby club. It shows what exactly a rugby club can offer its players of all age ranges from seven upwards, social members, sponsors and indeed the local community. Though this video is about a particular club, it’s no different to any other club. It shows what I believe to be how all rugby clubs should be run, with all the elements present to make a successful club on and off the pitch. So check it out.

An important issue that is raised in this video is that of paying players. I am not singling out Havant for this discussion, because most teams in the Havant’s league at level 5 will have a mix of paid players and local players and indeed I am sure some will pay all players, it is a sign of the times. I don’t think this is an issue at level 5 and above but in the leagues below it seems some clubs can be reluctant to admit it after all this is where it becomes a amateur game isn’t it?

Some clubs often get promoted with a good batch of players coming up through their youth systems combining with the experienced players in the club. Eventually this team will get as far as it can go with this set of players. Some clubs can even make it into the National leagues. What happens if some players go off to university or simply retire when you can see the club going through free fall through the leagues? I suggest at this point you decide what type of club you want to be as this is a big step for a non paying club as it maybe going against traditions, that’s if money is available or you can find ways of raising more funds though sponsorship deals and such like.

Some clubs will not see the opportunities available to raise more funds to bolster the squads and some clubs will decide that it’s against their principles. Some clubs will look to bolster their squad in a bid to stop a steady decline back down the leagues, this move will probably change the club forever.

If you have a team made up solely of paid players that come to training and game on a Saturday then straight after the game they shoot off to “a dinner party” then this can be detrimental on the rest of the club. Those players that are playing in the lower teams may not get to know any of the first team socially, this can then create cliques in your club with members of these other teams becoming resentful. If you get just a couple of paid players in then this could cause resentment “if they are being paid, why aren’t we?” So what is the answer? Insist these guys stick around after the game for at least a couple of drinks, it helps.

Decide what type of club you want to be. If you want to watch/play a good standard of rugby at level 5 and above, and maintain it, then paid players will be present at some stage in your club. It is important that you take a balanced approach and not let other sections of your club suffer such as the players in the lower teams and youth and mini sections as this is the lifeblood of any successful club.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 8, 2010 at 13:39

Categories: English Rugby, Rugby clubs   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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