Hackney RFC’s profile flourishes in build up to Rugby World Cup

Lawrence Dallaglio pictured alongside the Webb Ellis trophy with children from Hackney RFC

Lawrence Dallaglio pictured alongside the Webb Ellis trophy with children from Hackney RFC - Credit: Archant

Hackney RFC are reflecting on a hectic week of rugby activities that successfully increased the profile of the sport across the Borough in the build up to the Rugby World Cup.

The Spring Hill club hosted a 10s tournament and Open Day a fortnight ago, and the Webb Ellis Trophy came to Dalston Square last Monday for the many in attendance to feast their eyes on the number one prize in world rugby.

Former England captain and World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio was present to meet rugby enthusiasts and pose for pictures with the trophy, and the Hackney club ran rugby activities for kids in the square.

The Hack’s club captain Patch Thompson also attended the event, and the skipper was encouraged by the turn-out as east London braces itself to hosts several World Cup games at the Olympic Stadium.

“Everyone at Hackney RFC was very excited to have the Webb Ellis Cup come and visit our club,” Thompson said. “It’s really important for us as an inner city club to strengthen Hackney’s community links.

“We hope that after this brilliant weekend people of all ages will be inspired to get involved in rugby.”

Hackney started the build-up two days earlier, hosting the Attic Self Storage London World Cup invitational 10s tournament at Spring Hill.

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A Hackney RFC side emerged victorious after a day of high quality running rugby - hopefully a good omen for home sides as England gears up to host the real Rugby World Cup this Friday.

The tournament was contested by men’s teams from across London, and enhanced by exhibition games involving ladies and youth teams.

With Hackney RFC keen to engage and excite the borough’s non-rugby population, and interest Hackney’s diverse communities in the game, it also incorporated an open day for young people from the borough to come and learn about the club and the sport.

Tournament organizer Mark Nunn said: “Hackney RFC held this tournament because we believe rugby is not a sport of privilege: it’s open to everybody, starting as close to home as possible.

“Right before the big one kicks off, we wanted to hold an event that shows people why rugby is such a great game.”

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