RUGBY LIONS: End of season report

Lions playing at Twickenham
Lions playing at Twickenham

Extra income vital to build on success

The Rugby Lions AGM was held last week at the end of an incredibly successful season for the club.

Chairman David Owen congratulated the Lions team on their successes in the league and the Midlands Junior Vase and the achievement of a visit to Twickenham for the final of the RFU National Junior Vase.

Mr Owen also congratulated the Lionesses for finishing a close second in their league and their support for the Lions including their very loud cheering at Twickenham.

Mr Owen then went on to stress the need for increased income for the club from sponsorship in all forms such as advertising boards, individual game and match ball sponsorship. He also asked for more volunteers willing to contribute their time to the club in any way including the everyday jobs such as cleaning, litter picking, maintenance etc.

He added that supporters should suggest to friends, business associates etc that events they hear of being planned could take place at the clubhouse so that it is used more fully to help it pay its way.

Various other speakers stressed the unity, the oneness of the Rugby Lions club that moved forward together. But they also mentioned the need for recruitment during the summer for the Lions first team, for a proposed Lions development team in the absence of Colts teams at the club next season, for the Lionesses and for the Minis and Juniors sides.

The lack of Colts teams for next season was discussed at length in the open questions section of the meeting and it was pointed out that a strong Junior squad existed in the club at the U14/U15 level.

The Rugby Lions club dinner also took place last week when the Lions announced the following awards: Captain’s Player: Rob Dignum; Players’ Player: David Nurse; Coaches’ Player: Josh Lockley; Most Improved Player: Johnny Morgan; Most Committed Player: Ian Edwards; No. 1 in Team Award: Physio Guy King.

Captain of the Rugby Lionesses Gemma Booker was proudly able to announce that she had just been told that the Lionesses had been promoted by the RFU to the National Challenge Midlands 1 league for next season after their second place finish this season.

The Lionesses awards are: Forward Player: Fez Hibberd; Back Player: Sophie Plackett-Smith; Most Improved Player: Becci Morris; Players’ Player: Becky Sadler; Coaches’ Player: Becky Sadler; Clubman: Barry Rees; Top Try Scorers: Hollie Adams/Emily Stafford.

Not many squads would have made it from their club dinner to be at the very popular and successful Rugby4Heroes Rugby 10s festival in aid of Help for Heroes at Old Leamingtonians RFC the following morning with a first-game kick off at 10 am. But the Lionesses were there and were certainly wide awake by the time an Army combat helicopter had landed next to their pitch.

The first game against Chesham was lost but they won the second against Lutterworth. This put them through to the Sunday session but, with their traditional and legendary end-of-season South Coast tour on the horizon, too many injuries made it unwise to commit to being able to field a full squad so the Lionesses withdrew from the final day.