It's time to decide the next winner of our prestigious award for grass-roots rugby. So if your team has made waves this season, don't delay – send in your nomination now
Could you be the 2021-22 Rugby World Team of the Year?
It’s that time again – the moment we decide the Rugby World Team of the Year.
We’re inviting amateur sides from anywhere in the world to send in their nominations. The chosen team will not only gain the kudos of our long-established and much-cherished accolade but will win 20 Zerofit Heatrub Move baselayers – worth a cool £800.
There was no winner last year because of Covid and the cancellation of the leagues. So Leighton Buzzard were the last club to take the award, bagging a league and cup double just ahead of the 2020 lockdown. Their proliferation of homegrown players and success at all age levels made it the Bedfordshire club’s greatest season in 86 years of existence.
So who will take the mantle this year? 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 expansion 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 – the club where Jonny Wilkinson started his rugby journey – to fly the flag for the Home Counties.
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. Then, in 2018, it was the turn of Drybrook, a village club from Gloucestershire, to get their hands on our trophy after punching way above their weight.
Bournemouth claimed the prize in 2019 after a phenomenal season of club growth that was capped by the record-breaking first XV, runaway winners of the South-West Premier league.
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 2021-22 campaign, seize the moment by nominating your team.
Already this season we’ve seen monthly awards at a range of ages and levels. Men’s team St Francis have been joined by Camelot Colts (the youth side at Hemel Hempstead) and two U13 teams – the girls at Tetbury and the boys at Northampton Old Scouts.
Kingswood Walking Rugby Club, from the West Country, were also winners, so too AJ Super Rugby (right) for their brilliant socially inclusive programme in Nigeria.
So could you be the 2021-22 Rugby World Team of the Year? If you think your side – whether men, women or youth – merits our award, send in your nomination. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org now!
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