BUT FOR THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, THE LAST WEEKEND OF APRIL WOULD HAVE SEEN THE END OF THE PLAYING SEASON FOR WINCHESTER RUGBY CLUB.

Because the pandemic has meant no play or training since the end of February, the National and Hampshire Unions have calculated league tables and awarded cup results by analysing percentage ratings for each team, writes Tim Fell.

Winchester’s first team was placed fourth in the RFU’s London 3 South-west league after promotion to it at the start of the season, the second team was awarded third place in Hampshire 2, and the Winchester Knights were placed sixth in Hampshire 3, (though their actual place in the league when rugby had to stop was second).​

WE MAKE CHAMPIONS HERE!

Senior coach Gareth Martin said: “This season has seen a real involvement of the whole club in the senior teams. We’ve used more players than ever, fielded more teams than the previous 2 years and we’ve had more travelling support than ever.

I’m particularly proud of our young players. Jesse Ribeiro was the only Colt to play in the first team in 2018 after I became coach, and this season, - in which our former Colt Joe Marchant won his first England cap - we have had half a dozen under 20’s pushing for starting places in the first team every week. Hayden Mort, son of the late Adie, is our most recent, exemplifying how the club attracts the fathers and sons, mothers, brothers and sisters of other players and former players. Our first-team captain, Jim Beavan, is the son of the club secretary - Ben! 

It’s all a testament to the important role the club plays in the Winchester and district community. We make champions here.”

Winchester Firsts await the Hampshire Union’s decision whether to award them the Hampshire Bowl, in the final of which they were due to play Andover at home on the last Saturday of the season.

Another major achievement for the club is that the Winchester Academy have been crowned County Champions 2019/20. Coach Ben Turner, a regular first-team player himself, said “I would like to congratulate the players, coaches and parents for their hard work over the last eight months. It’s a massive achievement in what has been a very competitive season. By fielding two teams most weekends we have been able to get 45-plus boys regular games. In addition to this, several of our academy players have played for either the firsts or the seconds, and 12 of them have played for Hampshire.”

  

 

Winchester Under 12s, 13s and 14s were also all crowned County Champions, which with the Academy’s success promises a bright future for the club.

The Winchester Girls’ U12s-U15s section have enjoyed a good season providing plenty of opportunities for both training and matches, with four of the U15s squad also playing for Hampshire. Numbers have grown in all three age groups, U13s, U15s and U18s, and, says Director of Junior Rugby Christine Donald, would welcome new players next season.

Club chairman Steve Barrow added “We put out three senior teams almost every Saturday, thanks to the commitment of their captains Jim Beavan, Charlie Green and Matt Stagg and to the organisation of senior coach Gareth Martin and his support team. I congratulate and thank them and the volunteer coaches who have achieved such great success for them, and for our academy, juniors, minis, ladies and girls.”

Yours, in rugby

Steve Barrow

Chairman WRFC

#oneclub #stayalert #stayhomestaysafe

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