As acknowledgement for the amazing efforts made by the Club in promoting Touch Rugby, and the brilliant work done by Sharon Green in establishing women and girls rugby, we were invited (along with only 5 other clubs in the country) to a special event at Pennyhill Park (RFU’s elite training centre).
With only 4 days notice and 5 places on offer, we invited a broad representation of the Club to attend (young and not so young): Harrison Chapman (Colt), Sam Kisbee (1st XV/Uni) Mark Rosier (1st XV) Sharon Green (Director of Women & Girls Rugby) and David Shortland (3rd XV/Director of Comms).
With a meet/leave time at the Club of 7am (7.20am Rosie time) we braved the M25 at rush hour and got there with time to spare.
On arrival we were welcomed by the O2 Touch team and Sky Sports presenter Alex Payne who walked through the agenda for the day.
For the next two hours we were pitchside (almost) watching Eddie Jones put the lads through their paces. With a number of us being coaches at the club it was great to see a lot of what we are taught by the RFU to introduce at club level is translated from the Senior game. However I don’t think we will ever again see such an intense physical training session - at the end of it all the players were exhausted.
After a spot of light lunch (yes light!!) we were joined by 6 of the England Rugby Women’s team for a 30 min Q&A session. Very interactive and inspirational, what stood out most was the daily battles these professional athletes have juggling jobs/trying to get jobs whilst playing professional rugby (something I hope the RFU help to address soon).
In the afternoon on came the boots as we went outside for some O2 Touch sessions led by the England Women’s Red Roses and some top coaches from the experts at In2Touch. This turned out to the best bit of the day with the Red Roses getting fully involved throughout demonstrating (and encouraging) us as we ran around for an hour and a half.
All of this led to playing touch rugby games and it didn’t take long for the Red Roses to want to join in the fun rather than watch from the touchline, so we found ourselves playing against England internationals (I am also sure Rosie may brag about side stepping an England flanker at some point). Unfortunately all good things have to come to an end so after some photo opportunities we headed home just in time for O2 touch at the club (I have to be honest some of us could no longer walk let alone run around so we gave ourselves the night off)
What a day to remember!!
Updated 13:12 - 18 Aug 2018 by David Shortland