“We have had a great season all round, and Saturday's Minis and Juniors extravanganza at Twickenham puts the icing on the cake!”
With the various minis, juniors and adult tours all completed over last weekend, the 2017- 2018 season is coming to a close - other than the massive Barnes Minis and Juniors Extravaganza this Saturday, 12th May, from 10:30am to 5pm at the Twickenham, the home of English Rugby.
Barnes RFC have the entire Twickenham stadium, for one whole day.
350 young Barnes RFC people will play on the pitch, and entry is free - how cool is that? More of this important event later, so please do read on.
The 1st XV beat Sutton and Epsom 7- 52 a couple of weeks back, finishing the season unbeaten since November, and cement their position as champions of London and South East Premier, with automatic promotion back to National League 2 South for next season. A great achievement having been relegated last season from the same league. We should all thank Captain Fantastic, Jamie Collins, and Coaches Jamie Turner and Chris for their immense personal contributions over the long season. If we want to avoid the constant jibes of being a yo-yo club, continually flipping between levels 4 and 5, then we will need to make changes to ensure we are taken more seriously in National 2. Whilst we will focus on this fully in the coming weeks, for now, we will just relax and enjoy the warm glowing feeling of success!
The following weekend after the 1’s won the league, the 2nd XV travelled to Cambridge for a 10 pointer and duly one 10-32 to finish a highly creditable 6th place in the highly competitive Zoo Shield 1 - massive kudos to the boys, Paul Spencer, and Pat Crossley for an amazing season. Several of our current star performers in the 1st XV have come through the nursery of the 2nd XV, and it is a testament to the dedication of the whole 1st XV squad, and coaching team.
The Occies also played that final weekend of the season but alas lost in their playoff to Old Haileyburians – but again a great season for the Occies, and the Vets too came second in their league.
With the Ladies growing significantly in numbers this season, almost enough for two teams, and the Minis and Juniors with over 500 players now, the club is in the rudest of health right now.
But there is no room for complacency. For us to keep marching on and making progress each year, and playing in the original spirit we want to, we will need to plan very well for next season, and that planning will begin in earnest next week after the AGM.
The AGM is on Tuesday 15th May - 7pm at the Clubhouse - free beer and food for all Barnes RFC people that attend. It is your club and it is important that as many people attend as possible please.
I had almost sobered up after the 1st XV promotion celebrations, but then last weekend many of the 1st XV squad went to Santander, it is a real, and very lovely, Spanish seaside town, and not just a bank! The players were joined by a very dirty dozen of old gits, for some sun, (not as much as the UK), much rib-cracking banter, and far too much gin and San Miguel - not mixed together of course!
It was a great tour. We were a band of brothers already, and we grew even closer over the three days. The tour culminated with a game against Independiente Rugby Club, a club in a similar standard league to our own National 2. After two days on the lash, in baking hot sun, playing on a wide 4G pitch that merely appeared to absorb, and then reflect the heat back upwards, it is, frankly, astonishing that the boys were able to strap their boots on at all, let alone play Barbarian-style rugby, with some outrageous showboating, impossible reverse passing and electric pace. We won quite comfortably 17-39 in the end.
The Santander club was incredibly hospitable to us, and they supplied more meat per head than a mere human should dare ever consume. They have become life-long friends, Santander is a great t place to tour we will be back – massive thanks to Adam Libbey and Dave Riley for organising us rabble!
And it wasn’t just the 1st XV squad on tour either, the Minis and Juniors continued their touring end-of-season jamborees, in both Cork and Brean Sands, in Somerset, 209 toured in three coaches, over two days of festival rugby and fun!
And now a massive drum role please! The piece de resistance is approaching! What better way to round off a great season all round than to hold a celebration on the pitch at Twickenham, the home of England Rugby, this Saturday 12th May - between 10:30am and 5pm.
This is what you need to know about the day:
• Saturday 12th May - Twickenham Stadium!
• Entry is free!
• West and North car parks will be open
• Entrance through the main West Stand (with the lion and rugby players over it)
• Gates Opens: 10:30am
• Last Orders: 4pm
• All supporters will sit in West Stand Lower;
• There is food and drink (soft and alcoholic) available throughout the day;
• There will be free mini-tours of the stadium and changing rooms every 30 mins;
• There will be a discount for the England shop, and the museum which you will be able to use on the day, or subsequently.
Feel free to pitch up - and join the 400 kids and 1000 parents and supporters already signed up.
If you have any queries please contact me asap via the contact page on the website.
We are going to turn Twickenham into Fortress Barnes for one whole day! It will be an amazing experience for all of us but can you imagine what it will feel like for the 350 lucky boys and girls who will grace the turf where so many greats have been before them.
I am proud to lead Barnes as your Chairman of Barnes RFC, I am proud of all we have achieved this year and incredibly excited that we have been chosen to hold this day at Twickenham this weekend.
Next week the hard work will commence on building towards next season but, for now, let’s just get on and celebrate Barnow-style at Twickenham this weekend.
See you at HQ!
Onwards the Green Army! Onwards Barnow! May we always play in the original spirit of our great club!
Michael "Rhino" Whitfield
Chairman - Barnes RFC
Updated 01:39 - 10 May 2018 by Michael Whitfield