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Rugby

Chilvester Financial sign up as long term sponsor for Marlborough Rugby as Elisi Vunipola joins as Head Coach

 

 Marlborough Rugby Football Club have just announced two very important signings:   firstly, Elis Vunipola, former Tonga international fly half, and uncle of England internationals Billy and Mako joins as Head Coach, and secondly, Chilvester Financial commit to a long-term five year sponsorship deal which will provide funding to support the thirty-five strong team of coaches who work with the nearly four hundred club members from Under 7s to First XV.

 

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MRFC under 11s finish season as Melksham Festival Winners

Victorious: MRFC under 11sVictorious: MRFC under 11sSunday April 19 was the final fixture of the 2014/15 season and would be the Melksham Rugby Festival.

The squad who made the journey along with parents and coaches included Alby Berridge, Arthur Allen, Ben McLeod, Edward Martin, Harry Doherty, Harry Stuart, Huw Turner, James Hagerty, Jack Davidson, Joseph Kellow, Max Curnock, Olly Adamson, Olly Darlington, Theo Ellis and Zaki Murray.

The format would be five matches of one period of 12 minutes per game and a league format.

Our first match would be against Midsomer Norton. The boys started off well and with a good focused start Alby saw some space and went over for the first try. MRFC continued to tackle and ruck well and secured some great possession for Huw to go down the right wing and dive for the line to score the next try.

Midsomer started to up their game and deservedly scored the next try however MRFC responded immediately with James going over the line to score.

Final Result Midsomer Norton 1 – 3 MRFC

After a break of 30 minutes our next opponents would be Royal Wootton Bassett. The boys have not played RWB before and were up for this game as soon as the whistle blew to start this match.

MRFC were winning all the loose ball in the rucks and mauls and fully utilised the physicality of Zaki and Jack to punch over the try line with Jack and Zaki scoring two trys each.

Not to be out done the strong runners Harry and James also decided to get in on the act with a great try by James on the right wing after a couple of phases of play and seven passes James and Harry both scored two trys. The final MRFC try was scored by Alby. RWB were able to score two well worked trys but were unable to catch up.

Final Result Royal Wootton Bassett 2 – 7 MRFC

The next game would be against local rivals Devizes. This was a very close and physical encounter. Both defences were fantastic. This was end to end stuff and both defences were holding solid against some very strong and determined attack.

MRFC creaked first and conceded the first try. This game was brutal. The commitment from both teams in the tackle and at the breakdown was immense. Time was starting to run out for MRFC and with about a minute left on the clock the ball was secured and passed through the hands to find Olly D who went over to score and secure the draw.

Final Result Devizes 1 – 1 MRFC

After a 15 minute break our next match would be against our hosts Melksham. MRFC would kick off. Melksham ran back and scored a try straight from the kick off. From this moment the boys seemed to be on the back foot and were being outmuscled at the breakdown.

Melksham were now having a great deal of possession and scored again. The boys were still a bit stunned and again were letting Melksham have too much possession by not winning the ball at the breakdown. With some determined MRFC tackling by Huw, Max, Jack and Ben this prevented the flood gates from opening as Melksham were playing very well.

Final Result Melksham 4 – 0 MRFC

Our final game was against our old friends Avonvale. To have any chance of winning the tournament we needed to win this game by at least two trys. This would be no walk in the park. Avonvale are a determined and physical side with pace. This game was on a knife edge with both teams showing 100 percent commitment in the tackle and breakdown.

MRFC got the ball out wide to James who managed to find some space and score the first try. The boys now made their own decision to utilise the power and physicality of Jack and Zaki. With Jack going over to score from a great pass and then score another by a well worked move from behind the scrum.

In the final seconds of the game the ball got to Zaki who powered over to score. The boys did brilliantly against a very good Avonvale side. This was a fantastic effort by all the boys to secure a win after the 4 – 0 defeat against Melksham

Final Result Avonvale 1 – 4 MRFC

With 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss we had tied in first place with Devizes however as we had scored 15 trys to Devizes 12 Marlborough were declared the winners. Throughout the boys showed true character, grit and determination and were deserved winners of this festival and demonstrated throughout the 5 core values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship.

Edward Martin received the trophy on behalf of the team and each player received a winner’s medal.

 

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Marlborough Rugby Club's new bar area opened by England Womens International Ceri Large

Ceri Large opens the new bar area watched by Head Coach Chris Budgen and Club President Charlie SheppyCeri Large opens the new bar area watched by Head Coach Chris Budgen and Club President Charlie SheppyAll the hard work over the summer at Marlborough RFC's clubhouse came to fruition on Saturday afternoon (20 September) when the new bar area was formally opened by England Women's Rugby International fly half, Ceri Large.

To mark the occasion, the opening coincided with Marlborough RFC 1st XV's first home match of the season against Bath's Combe Down, and the inaugral Marlborough Beer Festival which was open to everybody and made sure that the new facilities were put to good use.

The enlarged bar has tranformed the clubhouse into a social area, with large screen TV for watching live Internationals, Aviva Premiership matches, and likely the odd 'round ball' premiership match as well.

Club President Charlie Sheppy with main sponsors Mary Hardwidge of Community First and Jamie Hill of HillsClub President Charlie Sheppy with main sponsors Mary Hardwidge of Community First and Jamie Hill of HillsThe work was made possible by the award of a 'Lead Up & Legacy Transforming Social Spaces' grant from the RFU, aimed to provide a public area where next year's World Cup can be watched, and also by two major local sponsors - Community First and Hills.

Hosting the World Cup provides an opportunity to deliver a huge participation legacy for rugby union, and the RFU has committed a £10m investment across England which will create a network of over 500 Lead Up & Legacy Centres aimed at providing a platform on which club rugby participation throughout England can be built.

The award of the grant wil make a big difference to the club and how it can serve the local community.  "We will now have some of the best facilities in the area that local people from Marlborough and the surrounding villages can use.  The 2015 Rugby World Cup will inspire a new wave of people of all ages to become involved in rugby and this RFU investment will help our club to be even better equipped to welcome newcomers.” said Club Chairman, Gary Sharp. Jamie Hill of club sponsor Hills presenting Head Coach Chris Budgen with the new season’s playing kitJamie Hill of club sponsor Hills presenting Head Coach Chris Budgen with the new season’s playing kitEngland Womens Fly Half Ceri LargeEngland Womens Fly Half Ceri Large

Whilst a great day for those in the new Clubhouse bar, not quite so good for the 1st XV who were narrowly pipped 10-13 by Combe Down, but sorrows could be drowned later at the Beer Festival where Swindon's Mick O'Toole played later in the evening.

“Great to see the Club moving forward by being able to transform its social space and bar area in time for the RWC 2015.  This was only possible with help and support of the RFU, Community First, Hills Group, Marlborough area Board and the club Sponsors." added Club President, Charlie Sheppy.

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New sessions kick tackles into touch

Touch RugbyTouch RugbyMarlborough Rugby Club is to launch a a season of touch rugby sessions in the new year.

Touch rugby is perfect for beginners, or players looking to return to rugby, perhaps following an injury, who are looking for a less physical form of the game.

The project is aimed at players aged 16 and over, and is suitable for men and women.

Sessions will be held at Marlborough College Astroturf from 7pm until 8pm, starting on Tuesday, January 14. Sessions cost £2 per session, or £15 for eight weeks.

For more information contact Mike Banfield on 07786 916318 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Hungerford Hurricanes are on the hunt for talented new rugby players

Ian Alexander kicks for Hungerford RFCIan Alexander kicks for Hungerford RFCBuoyed by a promising 2012/13 season, the Hungerford Hurricanes are on the hunt for new talent from the Marlborough area this summer.

The club wants to recruit more players to strengthen their squad before their 2013/14 campaign gets under way in September.

The Hurricanes were languishing at the bottom of the Berks, Bucks and Oxon premier league before Christmas, but seven straight wins after New Year saw them finish up a respectable fifth out of 11 teams.

Dave Smith, Hungerford's head coach, told Marlborough News Online: "What last season showed was that with a bit of belief we could be a decent side.  It instilled belief throughout the club, and it got us thinking:  'We don't want to be in this league forever.  We want to progress.'

"But to do that we need more players.  It's not rocket science -- by beefing up our juniors, colts and second team, we'll put healthy pressure on our first team players to perform at their very best.

"So, regardless of whether you've never played before or if you're a former British & Irish Lion, if you want to be a part of a family-based club with great banter and a passion for fun, flowing rugby, we'd love to see you."

Pre-season fitness training for the senior players starts at 7pm on June 11 at the Triangle field, Priory Road, Hungerford.

Touch rugby is being played from 7pm on Thursdays throughout the summer. Check the Hungerford RFC website for details.

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Two local rugby players picked for the England Saxon’s elite player squad

Jonny May from Ogbourne St George and Jamie Gibson from Minal, both aged twenty-one, have been named to join the England second squad, The Saxons.   England’s interim head coach, Stuart Lancaster named the Saxon’s thirty-two member elite player squad when he announced the new senior England squad for 2012.

The Saxons, or second team, used be called the England A team or the England B team – and at one time they even went upon the scoreboard as “Emerging England”.

Jonny (pictured top) plays full back or wing for Gloucester and has been in devastating form this season scoring seven tries. He is the son of local vet Peter May.

Jamie (pictured right) is an open side flanker for the London Irish and played four games for the Saxons last season scoring a try in the final of The Churchill Cup against Canada.

The two played together in the England Under-20 side at the 2010 Junior World Cup tournament in Argentina when the team reached the semi-finals.

Jonny was at The Ridgeway School and then Hartpury College. He played rugby at Wootton Bassett Rugby Club until going to Hartpury at sixteen where he was part of an all-conquering team and was selected to join the Gloucester Rugby Academy.

Jamie was at Marlborough College and is currently half way through a Classics degree at Oxford University. His introduction to Rugby came when he was seven and played with the Marlborough Minis.  Much later, while he was playing for Newbury Rugby Club, he was spotted by the London Irish Academy.

Looking ahead to the next World Cup, Lancaster said: "We are very excited by the make-up of the two [England] squads.  Lots of players have been putting their hands up and there were some tough calls to make. However, in line with the selection philosophy about starting new era for English rugby, we have taken the chance to make changes and give players opportunities to be part of the journey towards 2015.”

"We very much see this as a group of sixty-four [players], with opportunities for the Saxons playing in the forthcoming A internationals to come into the senior squad at any time."

The England Saxons face the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds at Sandy Park, Exeter on January 28 and then Scotland’s A team in Galashiels on February 3. The squad has an average age of twenty-four years and five months, with seven players under twenty-one.

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