It's time to decide the latest recipient of our long-running award for grass-roots rugby. So if you have something to shout about, seize the moment by nominating your team
New Zealand may have won the World Cup, and England the Six Nations trophy – but the really big one is still to come. Who will be crowned Rugby World Team of the Year 2015-16?
We’re now inviting amateur or semi-pro clubs from anywhere in Europe to send in their nomination. Should you scoop the prize, eternal glory will be yours, along with a set of 23 Apatchy bootbags – click here to see some of their products.
It goes without saying that we’re looking for success on the field, although that doesn’t have to mean an eight-year unbeaten run as achieved on English soil by our 2011 winners, Cobham U18, a team who incidentally contained current England flanker Jack Clifford and USA Sevens star Madison Hughes.
We’re interested too in how a team responds to adversity, such as the way 2012 winners Old Bristolians used the tragic death of second-team captain Robbie Stuart as a catalyst for rapid growth and selfless charity work.
Josh Beaumont was captain of our 2013 winners, Durham University, a side who relished the Mars bar ethic of play hard and work hard.
Beaumont, now an England squad member, recalls the day the students had to replicate a team shot for our club cover. “It was at exam time,” he says, “and we had to spray champagne everywhere and then go back into the library to do our last-minute swatting up!”
Farnham, the club where Jonny Wilkinson first picked up a rugby ball, enjoyed success at both ends of the scale, with their burgeoning mini section – they took 300 youngsters to a beach rugby festival in Devon – evidence of their rounded approach.
Their 2014 award was followed by current Team of the Year Battersea Ironsides, who were able to parade our trophy alongside three others in an historic treble-winning year. Now that’s just plain greedy!
So teams of Europe, what have you got? Have you swept all opponents aside? Have you worked tirelessly to boost playing numbers, or even just survive? Have you a story to tell that could inspire others?
If you think your side – whether men, women or youth – merits the Rugby World Team of the Year award, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to explain why. Don’t delay, we’ll be selecting our new winner in the next few days.