Monday, 13 February 2017

President Visits New Facilities in Melksham

The President, John Constable, and the several members of the Dorset & Wilts. RFU Council who accompanied him, were very impressed with the up-to-date clubhouse and facilities at the new home of Melksham RFC when they visited last Saturday.

The Club had been looking forward to the move from the old facilities at Melksham House in the town centre for a long time and Wiltshire Council had officially handed over the keys to the new state-of-the-art facilities for Melksham's football and rugby clubs at Oakfields on 10 January, after a delay of a year to re-site the colony of Great Crested Newts that had been found there.

The £7.3m facility includes a 1,773 sq m building featuring separate facilities for each club, with seating overlooking the football pitch.  There are 16 football and rugby pitches, a mixture of junior and adult pitches, along with car parking and a new access road and junction.

Pat Holtom, chairman of Melksham Rugby Club, said: "This is a fantastic opportunity to grow rugby in the town.  I'm looking forward to more and more people getting involved including volunteers, parents and of course players.  A big thanks must go to everyone who has helped make this a reality."

In recent years, rugby in Wiltshire has benefited from substantial improvements in clubhouses and facilities.  A couple of years ago, Trowbridge Rugby Club had moved to its present site and new clubhouse while, more recently, Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby Club opened its own brand-new facility.  The Dorset & Wilts. RFU has also been able to support improvements at the Chippenham, the Devizes and the Salisbury clubs, as well as others.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Somerset 24 pts v 24 Dorset & Wilts @ Weston Super Mare RFC.

Idris Martin
Freelance Photojournalist
Dorset & Wilts RFU Press Officer.
5 Hanover Road, Weymouth
Dorset DT4 7QP
Tel.01305 776027
Mob. 07774 485186

RFU Under 20 County Championship.

Not the worst result, an away draw against a strong Somerset unit, but now all hinges on the outcome at Trowbridge against Devon Under 20 in 3 weeks time, to decide which county progresses into the regional stage of the national knock-out competition.

The game was end-to-end play right from the kick off, with Somerset crossing for 4 tries thus pocketing a bonus point.  The first half was evenly balanced with the hosts profiting by intercepting a stray Counties pass and sprinting in for a try, then adding the conversion.

Trailing by 12 points to 10 at the break, Dorset & Wilts started the second half with a flourish and, following a period of pressure, touched down for a try and added the extra points with a conversion.  Going into the final minutes trailing by 7 points and chasing the game the Twin Counties threw caution to the wind and, with the referee checking his watch, the visitors showed great character touching down for a try and with the final kick of the game the ball bisected the posts - the conversion levelled the scores to end the game.

After the game, Dorset & Wilts. RFU representative, Stuart Murrow said: "The game did ebb and flow with both sides pushing hard, which did cause handling errors and turnovers.  With the twin Counties going into the final play of the game seven points adrift they showed great character going for the try, which they succeeded in doing and ending the game all square".

The Dorset & Wilts squad :
1 Hayden Wilson, 2 Matthew Goddard, Jesse Outlaw, 4 James Fisher, Sam Bailey, 6 James Hill, 7 Hamish Renwick capt, 8 Maleli Naiova, 9 Harrison Wall, 10 Connor Richard Tomley 11 Max Clark, 12 Harry Bazalgette, 13 Rhodri Hopkins, 14 Carlo Snell, 15 James Bagguley,

Reps. Jack Spencer, 17 Loui Giunta, 18 Serge Griffiths, 19 Joe Pettit, 20 Alex Mawdsley, 21 James Clancy, 22 Jack Gurney:

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Cricklade RFC and Prior Park School


Last year Prior Park Prep, who run 50+ rugby teams, opened their Saturday morning training to the local community for taster rugby sessions and have supported Cricklade RFC in setting up a junior section. The club uses the school’s facilities and coaching staff and the rewarding joint venture has been well supported by the Constituent Body.  Dave Wookey of  Dorset & Wilts RFU has been offering advice and reporting back on an enjoyable visit to Cricklade RFC who now run two Saturday sessions for children of different ages. The sessions are well organised - and, most importantly, fun - and led by a local sports coach, supported by Cricklade RFC Chairman and Head of Boys’ Games at Prior Park Prep, James Barton, who said, “I’m really delighted that our school has been able to support grassroots sport and offer the children of Cricklade RFC, and the surrounding area, the opportunity to play rugby. The club’s U8s played in our tag festival for schools in the surrounding area with great success. The parents have been delighted with the provision offered and the progress the children have made."

Monday, 23 January 2017

Dorset & Wilts u20s 25 v 19 Hampshire

RFU County Under 20 Warm Up Match by Idris Martin.

The Combined Counties raced into a 14 points to nil lead when only 20 minutes of the contest had elapsed, mainly due to some suicidal handling by their guests, who threw the ball about as if it were a training game and then surrendered possession, only to be punished by a clinical finishing from the Dorset & Wilts youngsters.

First Hartbury Uni. flanker Hamish Renwick pounced on a loose ball to touch down in the 16th minute, followed 3 minutes later by Sherborne centre Rhodri Hopkins, who intercepted a stray pass on half way then sprinted in to ground the ball beneath the post with Royal Wootton Bassett fly half Connor Tomley adding both of the extras.

With the score Dorset & Wilts 14 Hants 0 the visitors rallied and pegged back their hosts until the 27th minute when, following a series of forward drives, Brunel Uni hooker Matt Goddard crashed over from close in for Dorset & Wilts 3rd try of the afternoon.

With half time beckoning Hants. broke clear from the base of a scrum with the ball eventually ending in the grasp of left wing Charlie Waite, who touched down for the visitors.

Chippenham wing forward Sam Graham then attracted the wrath of referee Ritchie Denver and was exiled to the bench for 10 minutes, following a high tackle, to end the first half with Dorset & Wilts leading by 19 points to 5.

Starting the second period with a man in the sin bin, the Twin Counties were on the back foot and, with 51 minutes gone, the visitors’ number 16 drove over to score a try that was converted by Havant full back Eddie Lewis.

Now back up to full strength, Dorset & Wilts were able to meet their visitors head to head and on the hour Hopkins landed a penalty.  With substitutions now made by both sides it was nip and tuck for 20 minutes until Hants strayed off side & Hopkins slotted his second penalty goal of the afternoon.

As the contest moved into extra time Cardiff Uni flanker Seb Harold grabbed a try for the visitors, with Lewis converting to end the game.

A good result for Dorset & Wilts in front of a sizeable crowd, but they cannot rely on their next opponents Somerset to be quite so charitable when they meet at Weston-super-Mare RFC on February the 4th in the RFU Championship proper.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

South West u18s

Dorset & Wilts RFU congratulate Finn Watkins (Swanage & Wareham) and Archie McEwan (Salisbury) in being selected for the South West U18 squad. 

The squad now play Gloucester Academy and then the South East, the later game being at Staines RFC on Feb 25th- kick off 1100am.  From this the England selectors will be looking to select a squad for a 2 match tour of Ireland. We wish both players the best of luck.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Bath Rugby DPP Nominations Open

Dear All,

We are pleased to confirm that the nomination process for U13s for the Bath Rugby Developing Player Programme is now open to all clubs and schools in our region.

The guidance document attached contains two important pieces of information.

1)         The timescales that are in place for the nomination and selection process for U13s for this season.

2)         Information on the various attributes that as coaches and teachers will need to be considered before making nominations.

There is a strict limit of three nominations per club or school at this stage.

On any occasion where more nominations are made than the three-player limit, they will unfortunately have to be referred back to the nominee (or relevant club/school) to begin the process again, to ensure only the most appropriate three players are nominated.

The information sheet [below] on attributes to assess should help to provide a platform to discuss potential nominations and make some comparisons between players before a final group are decided upon.

Any questions that you may have about the process should be directed to  Any enquiries sent to personal accounts of staff at Bath Rugby will not be able to be dealt with unfortunately.

As per the information on the attached guidance, all nominations must be made via. the link: -

Thank you for taking the time to discuss the players in your clubs and schools and, by making a nomination, providing them the chance to join the initial stage of the player pathway with Bath Rugby.

Best Wishes
Andy Rock