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Club is ‘immensely proud’ as Pulborough girls set up another national final date

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For the third time in four years the Pulborough under-18 girls have made it to the national final of the RFU U18 National Cup proving that they are leading the way in Sussex.

The girls have tasted success before having been previous winners of the National Cup twice before; in 2015/16 and last year in 2017/18.

On Sunday, May 5, the talented team will face Mansfield in the final at Premiership side Worcester’s ground at Six Ways.

The team have achieved it this year by becoming County Champions, then by beating Sutton & Epsom (30-12) in the south east area final and then overcoming both Reading (21-12) and Winscombe (12-0) in the south of England semi-final played at Cheshunt.

The team is coached by John Breach, father of England’s Red Roses Jess Breach – a former Pulborough player herself, Kelly Russell and Keith Beckley and managed by Steve Summers.

The under-18’s squad consists of some 32 girls strong and is headed by two girls with England Sevens experience, Lauren Fisher and Flo Robinson.

However, every one of the girls has contributed to the team’s success this season from the youngest and newest girls who came up from the under-15s this year to the older more established players in their third year in the squad.

Pulborough club president Alex Steele and chairman Alan Nye both commented: “The whole Pulborough club are immensely proud of the girls.

“Once again this year and have been completely awestruck by the skills, running ability, physicality and intensity of the rugby the team has produced this season.”

The whole Pulborough community are all hoping for a third win for this talented group of young ladies.

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Green and Whites set for ‘journey into the unknown’

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Horsham all set for ‘journey into the unknown’ after learning of their London 1 South fixtures.

The league fixtures have been announced for the 2019-20 season following the club’s promotion to a division which is the highest level they have ever played.

The Green and Whites have the opportunity to rekindle an old rivalry by travelling in their first game to Chichester on September 7 – a fixture that has not been played for over 20 years. Horsham then host Beckenham, the other promoted side from London 2 South East, who did the double over the Green and Whites last season, followed by a trip to HAC (Honourable Artillery Company) based in the City of London, who have 
had a lateral transfer from London 1 North, due to promotions and relegations around them.

September is completed by Horsham hosting Cobham which is believed to be the first competitive fixture between the clubs despite being just the short journey over the border into Surrey.

Horsham vice chairman Richard Ordidge said: “We will be facing a lot of the clubs for the first time, so this is very much a journey into the unknown.

“But given the way we finished the last campaign we are optimistic about our prospects and carrying this form into the new season.”

Pre-season friendlies have been arranged against Brighton, Haywards Heath and Worthing Raiders starting on August 17.

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Pulborough under-18 girls are crowned champions of England again

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Pulborough under-18 girls have shown once again they are at the pinnacle of rugby by being crowned the champions of England.

The young team have secured the RFU U18 National Cup for the second successive season.

It is the third time in four years that the formidable Freelands outfit have won the competition; previously achieving glory in the 2015-16 season as well.

For their latest triumph they beat a strong Mansfield opponent 25-15 in a tense final held at Premiership side Worcester’s Six Ways Stadium at the start of the month.

The match was played in front of a large crowd swelled by Pulborough supporters including chairman Alan Nye.

Despite their rich history in the competition, this proved the toughest encounter.

Losing 10-5 at half-time, Pulborough had to dig deep but came back in the second half to score three tries whereas Mansfield put down just one – which meant the ‘Borough girls completed a superb turnaround to secure the win.

Head of the ladies and girls’ section at Pulborough, Keith Woodcock, said: “The entire Pulborough club family are immensely proud of the squad of some 34 girls who have trained hard all year.

“They were greeted back at their home club by a jubilant crowd who formed a guard of honour as they got off the bus, weary, but still smiling at what they had achieved 24 hours earlier.

“Having seen some of these girls since they were under-13s it is amazing how they have matured into skilled and tough rugby players, capable of displaying tremendous fighting team spirit when they were 10-0 in the first half of the final to finally win the day”.

The team is coached by John Breach, father of Red Rose player Jess Breach – herself a former Pulborough player, Kelly Russell and Keith Beckley and managed by Steve Summers.

They added: “We couldn’t be more proud of every single one of the girls, not just the 22 who contested the final on the day, but also the other 10 plus members of the under-18 squad who played their part in getting the team to the final.”

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Horsham Rugby Club gets 3 more years of support from sponsor

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Horsham Rugby Club has announced the renewal of its main sponsor for a further three years.

Sussex-based home builder Thakeham will display its distinctive black and white lion branding on new rugby shirts to be worn by the 1st XV, 2nd XV and every mini age group from under seven up to under 12.

Thakeham, with its head office in Billingshurst, has already been a sponsor at the club for a number of years. The construction group is one of the South East’s fastest growing developers.

Last year, Thakeham was acknowledged with a place in the ‘The Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100’ list. This prestigious league table ranks Britain’s 100 fastest-growing companies over the last three years and is published in the Sunday Times each December.

| READ MORE: Horsham church celebrates 125th anniversary |

Thakeham is actively engaged with local charities and promotes opportunities for former armed forces veterans. Thakeham also sponsors other community sports teams including Billingshurst Cricket Club.

Robert Boughton, Thakeham group managing director, said: “As a regional home builder, we know all about the importance of thriving local communities. Sports teams play an important part in building and maintaining the fabric of those communities.

“That’s why we are so pleased to support Horsham Rugby Club and be the club’s main sponsor for the next three years.”

Horsham RUFC plays their home games at Coolhurst Ground, Hammerpond Road, Horsham, and currently has 400 playing members ranging from Under 7 to three Senior (adult) teams.

The 1st XV rugby team has won the Bob Rogers Sussex Cup six years in succession and secured promotion via a play-off to the highest level in the club’s history.

The 2019-20 season will see the 1st XV team play in London 1 South, the Lions 2nd XV cross county lines to play in the Surrey Premiership and the Barbarians 3rd XV play in Sussex 3.

Nick Stocker will continue as head coach assisted by Richard Bell, Adam Halsey and Johnny Porter.

Horsham Rugby Club’s vice-chairman and commercial manager Richard Ordidge said: “We are delighted to announce that Thakeham will remain as the main sponsor of Horsham Rugby Club for the next three years during a period of unrivalled success for the club.

“Sponsorship is vital to the club; it helps us fund the maintenance and improvement of our facilities, which is essential as we strive to run a successful and well thought of rugby club.

“We have a strong responsibility to our members and are keen to attract local talent of all ages.”

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