It's time to decide the latest winner of our prestigious award for grass-roots rugby. So if your team has made waves this season, send in your nomination now
The British & Irish Lions can wait a little longer – there’s some important business at hand. The Rugby World Team of the Year – sponsored by our friends at Crabbie’s – will be decided in the coming days and we’re inviting amateur or semi-pro sides from across Europe to send in their nominations.
We’re looking for teams who have chalked up a hatful of wins and in all likelihood claimed silverware, but success comes in many forms.
For example, our 2012 winners Old Bristolians not only swept to a league and vase double but used the tragic death of second-team captain Robbie Stuart as a catalyst for rapid growth and selfless charity work. The club had raised nearly £140,000 for CLIC Sargent at the time of their Rugby World award.
Sale captain Josh Beaumont got his hands on the trophy in 2013 as captain of Durham University before it stayed in Surrey in successive years. Farnham, the club where Jonny Wilkinson started his amazing rugby journey, enjoyed success at both ends of the scale in 2014, with their thriving mini section – they took 300 youngsters to a beach rugby festival in Devon – evidence of their rounded approach.
And then Battersea Ironsides, where new Lions tourist Kyle Sinckler rocked up as an eight-year-old to try rugby for the first time, were able to add our coveted cup to their cabinet.
Ironsides won an historic treble that year, a feat matched by our current Team of the Year Heriot’s. The Edinburgh club won the Premiership, Scottish Cup and Charity Shield, playing with a panache that lit up the game north of the border.
“We can score from all areas of the pitch, which can make opponents feel uncomfortable,” their head coach Phil Smith told us.
Now we need a team worthy of following in their footsteps. So, 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 your team has impressed in one way or another over the 2016-17 campaign, seize the moment by nominating your team. The winning club will receive some training gear and two cases of Crabbie’s with which to celebrate.
If you think your side – whether men, women or youth – merits the Crabbie’s 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.
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