Chris Robshaw, the former England rugby captain who learned the game at Warlingham, was back at the club last weekend to encourage the latest generation of mini and junior players, as well as the thriving new girls’ and women’s section which is staging a special Sevens tournament at Hamsey Green in May.
On Saturday, Robshaw played his first match for Harlequins after a 10-week lay-off following a shoulder operation, and after missing the Six Nations tournament the flanker is now facing a race against time to show his best form to secure selection for this summer’s Lions tour to New Zealand.
But on Sunday morning, Robshaw was back to where it had all begun for him, watching the various age groups training in the spring sunshine, chatting with players of all ages and meeting the Warlingham Wildcats – the name given to the club’s new women’s section.
Robshaw was promoting the Community Club initiative from Harlequins, in which Warlingham is one of the candidates for the Community Club of the Year.
Craig McIntosh, Wildcats’ head coach, said, “It’s great that Chris should take time out of his busy schedule to come back to Warlingham and encourage our young boys and girls. It means such a lot to them.”
Warlingham’s Women’s Sevens tournament will take place at Hamsey Green on Saturday, May 6.
The club’s women’s section has now 60 players registered across all the ages, from under-6 minis to seniors, and Sevens – now established as an Olympic sport – is proving a very popular way of introducing new players to the games, of all genders and ages.
Last year’s inaugural Warlingham Women’s Sevens staged just off Limpsfield Road was a roaring success with more than 20 teams from local clubs taking part.
The success of the England women’s team winning their Grand Slam in Dublin this month has also raised the profile of the game, especially for Warlingham after another former player, Kay Wilson, scored a record seven tries in the international against Scotland.
“Women’s rugby is a fast growing sport and we’re getting new girls attending every week,” McIntosh said. “We make sure they are warmly welcomed and coached in a safe and enjoyable environment. We really are a happy rugby family.”
Coaching is every Wednesday evening from 7pm and every Sunday from 10am.
Anyone wanting to try their hand at the game, or clubs wishing to register interest in playing at the Warlingham Sevens Heavens, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01883 62 2825.
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