Richmondshire RUFC are preparing for a great season in all age groups from U6 to the veterans.
The 1st XV were promoted into Durham and Northumberland League Division Two at the end of the last season. 2016-2017 was a great season for them as they won 18 matches and lost only two.
Next season brings some more and exciting fixtures when their rivals will be clubs closer to home such as Darlington, Bishop Auckland and their old nemesis, Newton Aycliffe.
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The team are currently being coached by the regional RFU development officer, Alec Porter.
Alec stepped in towards the end of the last season after their previous coach had to leave due to work commitments. Alec is really happy about the opportunity despite juggling it with a busy work commitment and needless to say, the Club and team are delighted to have him on board.
At the beginning of last season, the club sponsored an overseas player from New Zealand, Sam McCool.
Sam plays fly-half and has helped the team really open their backs.
Sam, who had never been to the UK before, has had a great year in Richmond and is looking forward to playing another season with the Club and we are delighted he is staying on.
Along with a thriving 1st XV, the club is developing a strong 2nd XV who are playing many regular fixtures as well now.
Under an enthusiastic captain Gareth Hastie, the 2nds have an exciting season ahead.
The club have never had two regular playing teams like this before as well as having a motivated and dedicated veterans team that played a number of fixtures last season and next season will play in a new strip that has been specially designed for them.
Along with the seniors, the club has developed a strong junior presence.
There are now teams represented in all age grades under 16 years and each year, the junior membership increases.
Dena Dalton, from the club, said: “Last season there were over 120 player registrations.
“It is a great sight at 10am on a Sunday morning to see the juniors running around the Club’s grounds developing their ball skills and game tactics.
“As far as possible, all the junior teams get access to fixtures and last season, the U14s and U15s progressed far in the Yorkshire Cup and Yorkshire Plate.
“Each year, the Club has a presence in a number of different age groups at the Darlington Rugby Festival. Another success has been in the micros section which is for children under the age of five.
“This has been run by enthusiastic Richmond School pupils who have developed ball skills with the children and installed in them the values of the game. It is great when the children reach five-years-old that they can then progress to the U6 age group and play tag rugby.”
Dena said that like other sporting clubs Richmondshire RUFC would not exist without a strong group of volunteers.
“That is from the committee, the coaches, the kitchen staff, the bar staff, the groundsmen and many others and we always truly appreciate and value the time and commitment that goes into this support.
“The club is also supported by a great Club Steward who runs the bar and organises all the bookings. The clubhouse is available for hire for private events and has proved really popular with many for its facilities as well as the warm welcome that is always assured.
“At Richmondshire RUFC, we are really proud of what has been achieved since the Club was started 33 years ago and the fact that the club works hard to uphold the RFU values of Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship which remain at the core of everything we strive to achieve.”
If you are interested in getting involved in the club either as a player, a coach or as a volunteer or are interested in hiring the club, please contact us via our website richmondshirerufc.co.uk or via our Facebook page.
Senior training is at 6.30pm on Tuesday and Thursday and 10am on Sunday for the juniors.