Eastleigh Pirates make it to Twickenham…

Eastleigh PiratesEastleigh Pirates RFC’s name was unveiled by club members on a step at Twickenham Stadium ahead of the RBS 6 Nations England vs France clash last Saturday.

The club name was placed on the step as a reward for Eastleigh Pirates RFC signing up for NatWest RugbyForce in 2013, and could be seen by millions of rugby fans on the TV and in the stadium.  In total 176 clubs were awarded and saw their name appear on the steps at the home of England Rugby.

Jose Hayes from Eastleigh Pirates RFC said:

“It was a privilege to be invited to Twickenham by NatWest RugbyForce to see our club step unveiled.  It is great to know the England team could see the grassroots clubs were firmly behind them as they ran out on Saturday. We were always planning to sign up to NatWest RugbyForce, so having our club name honoured at Twickenham for such a big game was an added bonus.“

Phil Vickery, former England prop and World Cup winner is a supporter of the NatWest RugbyForce programme and said:

“Coming from a very small club, Bude RFC in Cornwall, I know how important the rugby club is within the local community, and how much support they need. NatWest RugbyForce is all about improving club facilities to help safeguard their future. The NatWest RugbyForce club steps at Twickenham on Saturday were a reminder of where rugby began for many of our international players – at grassroots clubs.”

Created by RBS Group in partnership with the RFU, NatWest RugbyForce in England helps local rugby clubs to improve their facilities to become more financially viable businesses. The programme provides clubs with access to workshops and funding to help make improvements. The NatWest RugbyForce Weekend on 15th & 16th June gives clubs the opportunity to encourage members and the local community to come together for a weekend of DIY.

Rugby clubs across the country can still have their name added to a step for England’s final home game against Italy on 10th March by registering for the NatWest RugbyForce programme before Friday 1st March. To register clubs must visit http://www.rfu.com/natwestrugbyforce.

Ray Turner

Formerly a Civil-Servant and IT Specialist at ONS, Ray is now semi-retired and spare-time self-employed. He contributes to Eastleigh News on a voluntary basis and is also an administrator for the site.