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The quality of their coffee: How to find a rugby club that fits?

The quality of their coffee: How to find the club that fits?

Finding the right rugby club can all feel a bit daunting. You might know that a local club exists but may not feel confident enough to just rock up with a pair of boots.

There’s a lot to consider when you decide to sign your child up to a rugby club. Outside of school, you will end up spending many hours – not only at the club – but with the club community. So do your research to make sure it’s a good fit for you as a family.

I often wonder what would have happened if I wasn’t made to feel as welcome when I first brought my son to his club when he was just five. A friend had suggested the club to me, so taking her word for it, I called them up and was invited by one of the secretaries to just ‘come along’. But for me, that was the most daunting part. We didn’t know anyone there, had never stepped foot at a rugby club, and unlike other classes and groups we had attended, I wasn’t greeted by a smiley salesperson bearing a welcome pack.

It took some work for both my son and I to get out of our comfort zone, and despite setbacks, losses, and wins, we are still at Syston RFC seven years later.

I’m very grateful that it was and is a good experience and my son has always felt part of the team. But admittedly, not everyone has the same experience when looking for a club.

Sam Johnston, Leicester Tigers Inclusive Rugby Development Officer actively works to introduce children from diverse communities to rugby. “You can’t consider your child without considering yourself,” said Sam. “The environment of a rugby club must be good for the player and the family as a whole.”

I asked Sam for some pointers on what parents should look out for before they sign up to a club.

Word of mouth: Like I did, it’s always worth asking someone who might already be in the know. Do you know other rugby parents? Or does your child have friends who play for a club? Being part of the rugby community means that you will soon make friends with people from all backgrounds, but at least initially, it helps to recognise a friendly face. You may want to ask a trusted sports teacher if they can recommend a club in the area.

Coaching: The coaching team will not only establish the culture of the team, but will become a very dominant influence for your child. “See how the coaches are with the players,” says Sam. “Do you feel that they are inclusive and make every child feel part of the team? Also take note of how many players are in the team. Does every player have an equal opportunity to play?”

Distance: Though travelling to a club on a Sunday morning might sound like a breeze, consider you will inevitably spend much more time ferrying your child to and from the club as they get older—from games to mid-week training and social events.

Rugby parents: “Is there a culture of friendship and inclusivity amongst the parents?”, says Sam. “See if the families stick around to have a drink or some food after a game. Have a chat with some of them to see what they’re like. And also find out if they are supportive of other activities outside of rugby.”

The quality of its coffee: Okay, that’s only half true…I have yet to visit a club where they actually serve good coffee (Please do let us know if you’ve found one). But seriously, food and drink is a factor. My son is a vegetarian so it’s a relief that especially at home games, the volunteers in the kitchen ensure that there is always something hot and filling for him to eat afterwards. Simple and thoughtful things like this demonstrate how the club is invested in its players and make them feel more wanted.

In for the win: “Don’t just look for the team that’s just about winning,” says Sam. “It’s always fun to win, but at what expense? Does the club play all of its squad and value them equally? The true values of rugby are teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, and sportsmanship, so if your club stands by these values you’re already winning.”

Let us know your thoughts on what makes a brilliant rugby club





NU Generation Rugby

Army and Navy Women make up a Twickenham double header!


In 2020 the Army Women and Royal Navy Women will run out from the West stand on to the hallowed Twickenham turf for the first time in history. Since the first Women’s Inter Services match in 2003, the goal of playing at Twickenham Stadium has been held by many of the pioneers of the Service Women’s game.

1920 was a very special year for Service rugby. With the end of the Great War the newly formed Royal Air Force Rugby Union joined with the Army and Royal Navy to compete in the first Inter Service Rugby Championship. Both the matches involving the Royal Air Force were played at The Queen’s Club, London, but the Army v Navy match (which had been played at the restricted capacity Queen’s Club since 1907) made its move to a new venue, one that would be hosting its first ever Service rugby match: Twickenham Stadium. Who knew then that it would later become known as the Home of England Rugby. The Men’s annual Army v Navy match has taken place at Twickenham Stadium every year since 1920, with the exception only of the World War II years.

Fast forward 100 years from that monumental move, and we see Twickenham Stadium playing host to the 2020 Army v Navy Match; a match that brings the curtain down on a centenary of Inter Service Rugby. In past years the Women’s Army v Navy match has been played at locations different to the Men’s matches; often at Kneller Hall (a pitch adjacent to Twickenham stadium) and last year at HMS Excellent in Portsmouth. But in 2020, 100 years since the Men’s match moved there, the Army Women and Royal Navy Women will also play at Twickenham Stadium, and just as with the Men’s match in 1920, it is the Army v Navy rivalry that will take centre stage at what is now a very different Twickenham Stadium.

The Army Women and Royal Navy Women will be realising something that is a dream for so many rugby players of all ages and abilities; the chance to walk out into the glorious Twickenham ground, with its exhilarating atmosphere and unparalleled rugby spirit. The two sides will be following in the footsteps of Maxine Edwards when she led her England side out to play the first Women’s International held at Twickenham Stadium, in 2003. Her comments before that first game remain true today and will no doubt be shared by many of the Army and Navy players: “Just as everyone in football always wanted to play at Wembley, so everyone in rugby wants to play at Twickenham. It is awesome to think we are playing there.”

Those thoughts are likely to be mirrored by Royal Navy player Susan Badger who was brought up with football, playing for England Colleges, before the switch to rugby. And yes, Twickenham has replaced Wembley as her field of dreams. “Every day in my Naval role I work with sailors who are recovering from injury, and I know that having a goal is essential to the success of that process. It is the same for me with rugby and for all of the Royal Navy squad. So many have worked so hard to grow the women’s game in the Royal Navy for over twenty years and now finally to have the opportunity to play at Twickenham is just fantastic.”

Susan’s thoughts are echoed by the Army’s (Ireland International) Sarah Mimnagh. “Playing international rugby is amazingly special, but to be able to represent my Service at Twickenham Stadium as well really is a unique and humbling opportunity. Wearing the Army red has always filled me with immense pride. It is going to be a great day.”

A great day indeed and for the Army Women, the goal will be to regain the Inter Service title (currently held by the Royal Air Force). For the Royal Navy Women they know that they asked some difficult questions of the Army team last year without quite getting the victory they wanted. Will the occasion lift their performance further still? Perhaps for both sides the encouraging words of Maxine Edwards, shared before the test against France 16 years ago, will hold true: “I’ll tell the girls to savour the occasion but, to remember the day, we have to win well.”

Army v Navy

Date: Saturday 2nd May 2020

Venue: Twickenham Stadium

Men KO: 2:00PM

Women KO: 4:30PM

Tickets on sale 13th January 2020.

One ticket provides access to both the Men’s & Women’s matches.

Adult: £35 category 1 | £30 category 2 | £25 category 3

Concessions: £20

Family packages from £50

Proceeds from the match go to the Army Rugby Union Trust, registered charity no. 1149105 and the Royal Navy Rugby Union, registered charity no. 1165153.

Images: Army Navy Match © Alligin Photography

NU Generation Rugby

World Rugby Museum launches an amazing Olympic rugby exhibition!


Ahead of the 2020 Olympics Games, the award-winning World Rugby Museum at Twickenham Stadium has launched a brand new exhibition titled ‘Rugby and the Olympics’, which has now officially opened at the museum. Speakers at an exclusive event included RFU CEO, Bill Sweeney, formerly CEO of the British Olympic Association, and Ben Ryan who has coached both the men’s England Sevens team and Fiji team which won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The unique exhibition showcases the leading role that Rugby Union has played in the birth of the modern Olympic movement. From Pierre de Coubertin’s formative experiences at Rugby School, the introduction to wheelchair rugby in the Paralympic games and Fiji’s first Olympic gold medal. It spans the history of rugby at the Olympics in both the XVs, Sevens, men’s and women’s game. The exhibition also looks ahead to the upcoming XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo, which both England Sevens women and men’s squads qualified for this summer.

Bill Sweeney, CEO, RFU said, “It’s fantastic to welcome this brand new ‘Rugby and the Olympics’ exhibition to the museum. Having been lucky enough to be part of the Olympics journey, I really appreciate what truly special events they are. It’s great that we are able to reflect on rugby’s involvement in the games across the years and as they continue to grow. We now look forward to the next chapter at Tokyo 2020 with our women’s and men’s Sevens teams.”

Museum curator, Phil McGowan said, “Rugby and the Olympics’ will reveal how rugby football helped to inspire the creation of and shape the character of the modern Olympic movement. It details Pierre de Coubertin’s time spent at Rugby School, remembers when Cornwall were asked to represent Great Britain, explains why USA are the reigning Olympic champions and how Fiji shook the world in 2016. Finally, it helps visitors ‘Discover Tomorrow’ by introducing Tokyo 2020.”

Open to the public from Friday 29th November, visitors will be able to visit the exhibition through to the end of 2020. As well as Rugby at the Olympics, guests will also be able to learn how rugby football grew from a schoolboy’s pastime to one of the world’s biggest team sports. Star objects include the Calcutta Cup, the world’s oldest international football jersey and the 2003 Webb Ellis Cup. There is also an array of fun, interactive activities for younger fans at the Play Rugby Zone.

For more information or to book tickets head to

To book tours please email

World Rugby Museum Opening Times:
Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm (last entry 4pm)
Sunday: 11am – 5pm (last entry 4pm)
Monday: Closed (open some bank holidays and during school holidays)

Rugby mum
BeRugby Blog

For mud’s sake!

For Mud’s Sake

I was collecting my daughter from rugby training at school when I bumped into a usually calm mother looking very agitated. Her lips pursed in disgust, she pulled wipe-after-wipe from her handbag. Her son was stood beside her in his socks trying to tease his coated rugby boots into a bag she held with the tips of her fingers. “Ugh, this is the only thing I just can’t stand about him playing rugby,” she said.Read more

NU Generation Rugby

World rugby record set by Battersea Ironsides RFC!


Key Facts

  • Battersea Ironsides RFC have been recognised as “Officially Amazing” by Guinness World Records for the largest rugby tour ever.
  • The massive mini-rugby tour to Minehead over the May Bank Holiday weekend was in celebration of Ironsides 75th anniversary season.
  • The tour comprised 306 Ironsides players and coaches – making up 28 Teams from Under 7 to Under 12 age groups, playing over 160 matches against teams from across England and Wales.
  • The total number of tourists was 579, made up of 236 players, 70 coaches and 273 other Ironsiders who headed down to the West Country to support them!
  • The venue was Butlins’ Resort, Minehead – where we took part in the Tigers’ Challenge Tournament hosted by ESF Events and Leicester Tigers RFC.
  • Kyle Sinckler – currently representing England at the Rugby World Cup in Japan – started playing rugby with Battersea Ironsides Minis. He is a huge inspiration to all the Ironsides players and we hope our new Guinness World Record achievement will inspire him to World Cup glory. Go Kyle!

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NU Generation Rugby

Our Rugby World Cup Favourite XV’s – England.

The current crop of England stars put in an improved performance today against the USA. They have bigger tests ahead and a some tougher opponents to beat in order to reach the 2019 Rugby World Cup Final, can they do it?

So far in our Favourite XV’s series we have covered current World Champions New Zealand, double World Cup winners South Africa, the Six Nations Grand Slam holders Wales. Next up is England! A mixture of past and present greats have made our favourite fifteen this month. 

So here they are, our England “Favourite XV”.

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NU Generation Rugby

Our Rugby World Cup favourite XV’s – Wales.

The Rugby World Cup 2019 is a mere 3 days away!

As we are so excited we have been picking our “favourite fifteens” of players past and present for a different country going to Japan. 

So far, we have covered current World Champions New Zealand and double World Cup winners South Africa.

This time we bring you Wales! A mixture of past and present greats have made our favourite fifteen this month, remember its only our opinion but please let us know who you would pick?

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NU Generation Rugby

Alex Lozowski on preseason

We were lucky enough to grab five minutes with Saracens star, Alex Lozowski, and talk preseason. 

How has Pre-season been going?

It’s been hard. We’ve only been back training a couple of days but a few of us have been away on holiday and enjoying our five weeks off on the beach and now we are back. Its good to see your friends and catch up but the hard work starts and the first couple of days have been really hard.

So, run us through a few things you have done in pre-season?

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