It's time to decide the coveted 2018-19 Rugby World Team of the Year winner. So if your team has stood out from the crowd this season, send in your nomination now
Could you be the 2018-19 Rugby World Team of the Year?
The Rugby World Team of the Year award will be decided in the coming days and we’re inviting amateur sides from anywhere in the world to send in their entries.
Drybrook RFC claimed the prize last season after an outstanding campaign saw the Gloucestershire village club reach the heady heights of South-West Premier – the old National Three division.
“Will we stay in the league above? We’re going to try,” their chairman Chris Rawlings told us last year and with 12 wins from 26 league games to date this season, the league’s smallest club have succeeded in their aim.
Our successful team this year will in all likelihood have claimed silverware this season, 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’s Josh Beaumont got his hands on the trophy in 2013 as captain of Durham University before it returned to Surrey. Cobham U18, with a squad containing Jack Clifford and Madison Hughes, had won in 2011 and three years later it was the turn of Farnham to fly the flag for the Home Counties. The club where Jonny Wilkinson started his rugby journey, Farnham 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 England prop 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 2016 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.
Manchester took the honours in 2017 after arresting a spectacular slide in swashbuckling style. The South Lancashire & Cheshire One trophy was tangible evidence that you can come back from the depths of despair and they’ve advanced their goal of being “the best amateur club we can be”.
Now we need a team worthy of following in their footsteps and those of current holders Drybrook. 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 2018-19 campaign, seize the moment by nominating your team.
Already this season we’ve seen monthly awards for go-ahead Midlands clubs Northampton Casuals and Kidderminster Carolians, and for two northern beacons of excellence in Novocastrians and RGS Newcastle, the latter taking the St Joseph’s Festival by storm.
We’ve crossed the Irish Sea to acknowledge the work of Lurgan RFC in County Armagh, where Jacob Stockdale is among the coaches and at the forefront of an EU-funded peace project.
And we’ve dropped down to England’s South Coast to reward Portsmouth Valkyries Ladies, who bounced back in style after being pipped by a point in the league last season.
So can you crown the lot? 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.