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Home > News > Finals fever rises for HSBC festival
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Your News Finals fever rises for HSBC festival
27
APR

Anticipation is building the length and breadth of England with finals day in the HSBC Rugby Festivals just over a week away. Thousands of young rugby players at state schools either new to the game or still getting to know it have taken part in local, county and regional festivals and all is ready now for the exciting national finals at Staines RFC and Twickenham Stadium on Saturday May 2.

HSBC rugby ambassador and world cup winner Jason Robinson and England women's internationals Catherine Spencer, Jo McGilchrist and Natalie Binstead will be the guests of honour as six categories of boys' teams in Years 7 to 9 and girls in Year 7 take part in games of fast-paced 10-a-side rugby at Staines. And 12 lucky teams will go forward to play in the afternoon before and at half-time of the Army v Navy Babcock Trophy match, in front of up to 50,000 spectators at Twickenham Stadium. Robinson and Spencer, the England Women's team captain, will make presentations to the winners.

Robinson, the newly appointed head coach at Sale Sharks, visited many of the regional HSBC Rugby Festivals held around the country in the last few months. The former British & Irish Lion who scored the try which helped win the 2003 Rugby World Cup final for England said: "Being involved and doing training drills with these young players has been fun and hopefully it will encourage them to keep playing rugby in the future. It's good to target kids from non rugby schools like these. There are so many other sports and distractions for kids these days so it's good to actively go out there and promote the game to them."

>From the Year 7 girls of Whickham School in Gateshead who qualified from the North East event, to the Year 9 boys of Carisbrooke High School on the Isle of Wight, there will be shared experiences among the 52 school teams - that's more than 600 players - from around the country who will converge on Staines.

And to foster links with the British Army Garrison rugby clubs in Germany, two guest teams from the King's School have received special invitations to cross the Channel and take part in the Year 7 and 8 Shield competitions at Staines.

Their players and all the HSBC Rugby Festival finalists will hope to emulate London Wasps and England flanker Tom Rees, who had been playing the game for just four months when he found himself in the Harriet Costello School's U12 team at Twickenham - and has never looked back!

* The HSBC Rugby Festivals, supported by HSBC, the Principal Partner of the British & Irish Lions Tour to South Africa in 2009, will reach over 60,000 children across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales at emerging rugby schools that do not have an established tradition of the game, as well as 3,000 teachers and coaches. The programme targets boys and girls aged 11-14 through a series of one day festivals and the donation of rugby kit and equipment. In England, players take part in the HSBC Rugby Festivals in Under-12, 13 and 14 categories at local, county and regional festivals before a national finals day staged at Staines RFC. The top teams then meet on the pitch at Twickenham Stadium, in front of a crowd of up to 50,000 on the day of the annual Army v Navy Babcock Trophy match on May 2. Sport England has also made a significant contribution to the programme which underpins their goal to get one million more people doing sport by 2012-13.

Giles Morgan, Group Head of Sponsorship for HSBC Holdings, said: "The HSBC Rugby Festivals is a great way of uniting the four home nations on a community and schools level, in the same way the British & Irish Lions unites the countries at an elite level. Youth, education and community are integral parts of all of HSBC's sponsorships around the world, and we are excited to be working with the four home unions to deliver such a comprehensive programme during this exciting Lions season."

* Booking hotline for finals day at Twickenham Stadium 0844 847 2492 or visit www.ticketmaster.co.uk. Tickets are priced 20 or 18 for Adults and 10 for Juniors. Family tickets (2 adults, 2 children) are a bargain at 40. There are further discounts for schools and cadet groups (2 adults free with every 10 children) - contact the RFU on 0870 143 1111.

HSBC Rugby Festivals national finals, Staines RFC, Saturday May 2, 2009:

Year 9 Shield

Eastern Counties - Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge

Hampshire - Carisbrooke High School, Newport Isle Of Wight

Lancashire - Manchester Academy, Moss Side

Leicestershire - Mount Grace High School, Hinckley

Surrey - St Paul's Catholic College, Sunbury

Warwickshire - Tudor Grange School, Solihull

Yorkshire - Allertonshire School, Northallerton

Plus one - from South West tbc

Year 8 Trophy

Bristol - Redland Green School, Bristol

Essex - New Hall School, Chelmsford

Hampshire - The Arnewood School, New Milton

Kent - The Ravensbourne School, Bromley

Lancashire - Saint Aidan's, Preesall

Leicestershire - Thomas Estley Community College, Broughton Astley

Staffordshire - Western Road High School, Stafford

Yorkshire - Dinnington Comprehensive School, Sheffield

Year 8 Shield

Cumbria - Trinity School, Carlisle

Dorset & Wiltshire - Isambard Community School, Swindon

Eastern Counties - Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge

Essex - Wanstead High School

Hampshire - The Westgate School, Winchester

Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire - St George's College of Technology, Sleaford

Staffordshire - Barr Beacon, Aldridge

Surrey - St Paul's Catholic College, Sunbury

Yorkshire - Ian Ramsey School, Stockton

Germany - The King's School

Year 7 Trophy

Bristol - Redland Green School, Bristol

Buckinghamshire - Misbourne School, Great Missenden

Cheshire - Cardinal Newman Catholic High School, Warrington

Essex - Robert Clack School, Dagenham

Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire - Central Technology and Sports College, Grantham

North Midlands - Westacre Middle School, Droitwich

Surrey - Harris Academy Merton

Yorkshire - Castle Hall School, Mirfield

Year 7 Shield

Buckinghamshire - Great Marlow School, Marlow

Dorset & Wiltshire - Baden-Powell & St Peter's School, Poole

East Midlands - Ashton Middle School, Dunstable

Essex - St Helena School, Colchester

Hampshire - John Hanson Community School, Andover

Lancashire - St Augustine's RC High School, Clitheroe

Northumberland - Ponteland Middle School, Ponteland

Sussex - The Forest School, Horsham

Warwickshire - Kingsbury School, Tamworth

Germany - The King's School

Year 7 Girls

Cornwall - Liskeard School & Community College, Luxstowe

Durham - Whickham School, Gateshead

East Midlands - Alameda Middle School, Ampthill

Hampshire - Bishop Lovett Middle School, Ryde Isle of Wight

Hertfordshire - Presdales School, Ware

Lancashire - De La Salle School, St Helens

Staffordshire - Aldridge School, Aldridge, Walsall

Sussex - Helenswood, St Leonards on Sea

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