It's time to decide the 2017-18 Rugby World Team of the Year. So if your team has stood out from the crowd this season, send in your nomination now
Could you be our 2017-18 Team of the Year?
Roll up, roll up! The Rugby World Team of the Year award will be decided in the coming days and we’re inviting amateur or semi-pro sides from across Europe to send in their entries.
Manchester RFC took the honours last season 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 this season they’ve advanced their goal of being “the best amateur club we can be”, alongside consolidation in North One West.
Our successful team 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 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 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.
“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 and those of current holders Manchester. 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 2017-18 campaign, seize the moment by nominating your team.
Already this season we’ve seen monthly awards for Vale of Lune, a home-grown Lancaster club, and Edinburgh school George Watson’s College. We’ve rewarded Deri, from the Rhymney Valley, and Suffolk outfit Halstead Templars after they landed a first-ever trophy. We’ve acknowledged the thriving rugby hub that is Royal Wootton Bassett and the newly energised Staffordshire club Eccleshall.
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.