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BRUFC vs PRESTON GRASSHOPPERS RFC

18TH NOVEMBER, 2023
NATIONAL LEAGUE 2 NORTH
CONTENTS - TEAM SHEETS - TABLES, FIXTURES & RESULTS - CLUB PRESIDENT'S WELCOME - MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN - SENIOR COACH UPDATE - CAPTAIN'S CORNER - NEWCASTLE FALCONS U18S - SAVE THE DATE - SUNDAY LUNCHES - INSTAGRAM GALLERY
MATCHDAY PROGRAMME
MATCH OFFICIALS:
Gavin Jones (Ref), Dr. James Gray (AF) & Graham Bentley (AF)

BILLINGHAM RUFC

  1. Joe Spoors
  2. Ed Graham
  3. Kieran Clark
  4. Conner Witton
  5. Mike Whinn
  6. Tom Campbell
  7. John Padley
  8. Anth Jackson
  9. Conner Foley
  10. Peter Evans
  11. Jonny Horner
  12. Luke Armstrong snr
  13. Peter Youll
  14. Joe Ross
  15. Elliott Husband (c)

  16. Jordan Foulds
  17. Isaac Brace
  18. Joe Evans
  19. Matt Kirby
  20. Louie Groark

PRESTON GRASSHOPPERS RFC

  1. Tom Guest
  2. Jack Wilkinson
  3. Jake Pope
  4. Ellis Causey
  5. Ally Murray
  6. Will Riley
  7. Ben Dorrington
  8. Scott Richardson (c)
  9. Rory Brand
  10. Will Hunt
  11. Tyler Hunt
  12. Izaak gosling
  13. Jack Lightowler
  14. Ben Haigh
  15. Jacob Browne

  16. Wade Williams
  17. Will Parkinson
  18. Sam Townsley
  19. Declan Norrington
  20. Ciaran ODonnell

CLUB SPONSORS

TABLE, FIXTURES & RESULTS

Last update: 14th November, 2023

National League 2 North

FIXTURES

RESULTS

CLUB PRESIDENT'S WELCOME

JOHN KER

CLUB PRESIDENT

In welcoming our visitors in this, our Centenary season, whether you are a player, committee representative or loyal fan, we shall endeavour to make sure that you are treated well, both on and off the pitch, whatever the ultimate result. First of all I would like to apprise you of a few things. As a club we have taken another step (perhaps more of a giant leap) upwards into the higher echelons of English rugby union.

Our rugby club was born out of the Synthetic and Nitrates Company which eventually became ICI. Originally we were the rugby section of the Synthonia Sports Club and for many years simply regarded as a 'factory' team. Although our date of inauguration is 1924, during the autumn of 1923, players were recruited, training started and coaching commenced in earnest. The very first game was against West Hartlepool Secondary School when Billingham Synthonia Rugby Football Club won by 8 points to 6. Our first dinner was held in April 1928 and the following year saw us achieve Senior Club status. Although

"… the pavilion was a wooden but and tin basins with cold water did service in place of showers"

We have come on a bit since those days, however, and since the turn of this century we have opened the new clubhouse on a new ground at Greenwood Road, courtesy of lottery funding. Then in August 2017 we added the Artificial Grass Pitch thanks to RFU, but this year, following our league and Durham County Senior cup wins of last season we start life in National 2 North. Not content with promotion, we have added to our facilities in extra special ways, which everyone can enjoy this afternoon.

Annually I put into print my appreciation and thanks to the strong leadership of our hardworking Executive Committee and, of course our very many volunteers, without whom we would struggle. I realise that most sports clubs rely heavily on voluntary help but I think our various groups are a match for any club in the country. I believe it is also important to acknowledge the many parents who bring their children to join the minis then stay involved to become coaches, team managers, fund raisers and even - referees.

It is difficult in a one-off piece which remains in the programme for the whole season to react to weekly events but the contributions from Chairman, Mark Armstrong and Director of Rugby, Peter Evans do change game by game.

So a special thanks to both.

John Ker

#OSIOS

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

MARK ARMSTRONG

CLUB CHAIRMAN

Welcome Preston Grasshoppers RFC...

Welcome to all of our wonderful members and supporters, enjoy the match, remember where you are, who we are and respect players, officials and each other. Rugby is always the winner.

I have achieved many things in my life that I am proud of (my family being top of the list), I have been to many places, seen many things, met many people and overall, I see myself as being very fortunate. I also know that fortune favours the brave, hard work delivers results and being part of a team, a successful team is a wonderful place to be.

The above sums up this club for me. I have been fortunate to be part of this club for 35 years of it’s 100 year history and to be it’s Chairman for over 20 of those. A centenary is a milestone in any sport and in life in general and those of us who are members today, including myself, are fortunate to be part of a club that has been built on the back of many generations of players, members and supporters. We may have started out as a works team but back in the day we were a force to be reckoned with and despite the end of the industrial giant that was ICI, Billingham RUFC has gone from strength to strength.

Of course, we have had challenges along the way, including becoming homeless in the 90s, then nearly going out of business in the 00s, but we have come through to where we are today. Many people have contributed to our survival and our growth and the honours board of Presidents, Chairs and Club Captains are a great example of this, but there are many that don’t have their name on boards who have been instrumental in ensuring we can stand here today, with a soft smile on our faces. We have a plan for them too!

If I look at the last 25 years, from the time before we had our clubhouse to where we stand today, many of the people who have helped with our success, are still here today, every day, every game. This club to many, is a big part of their life. Our club is our community and over time our club has become an important part of the community.

When you have a great team, great things happen, and this year, our centenary year, to be playing in the National Leagues, Level 4 of rugby, in the top 60 teams in the country, in our new clubhouse, yes it is a dream come true, but one that was never in doubt.

We have a great rugby leadership team, we have a great rugby operations team, we have a great rugby development team and we are supported by many volunteers. Not only are we playing in Level 4, but we boast teams from U6 to Colts, 4 senior teams and 3 girls teams, a total of 19 teams. You have heard me say time and time again, if you stand still you go backwards and we have never accepted anything for granted and looked to improve every year.

We look at every part of what we do; coaching, kit, health and well-being support, playing surfaces, changing facilities, club, food, even the beer, and we look to make improvements along the way. Today we stand in a new extended and refurbished clubhouse. We used the have the ‘If Carlsberg made toilets…’ moment (we still do) but now we have the ‘If Carlsberg made members bars’ experience. Yes, I am excited about this, of course I am, and why not, who would not want a private bar, with a private balcony with the best view of the match?

But we are not finished, we want to continue to improve and the next phase is the players, including girls changing and physio facilities. Some might ask how you can afford it and the answer is simple, we invest all of our profits back into rugby but we do not pay players, repeat we do not pay players. They, like every playing member, pay their monthly membership subscription. Some say this will restrict our potential, I say, this is what has got us to where we are, this is the ethos that defines our culture and this is what will ensure our success.

It was John F Kennedy that gave the famous speech in Berlin in 1963, and said that “2,000 years ago the proudest boast was to say you were a citizen of Rome”, and went on to say, “that today the proudest boast is ‘ich bin ein Berliner”.

Today I say to you, the proudest boast is to say, “I am a member of Billingham Rugby Club”.

Mark Armstrong

#OSIOS

CLUB SPONSORS

SENIOR COACH UPDATE

PETER EVANS

SENIOR COACH

LEARNING, IMPROVING & GROWING AS TEAM

We continue to learn, try to improve week on week and the opportunities to do so keep coming. We have had a real tough few weeks with decisions, games, injuries going against us. No blame on anyone there, we just need to realise we wont get loads of opportunities to get it right.

Last week was probably the most disappointing 40 minutes followed by a spirited fightback showing what we are about. We were met by a physical group of lads who we let play their game without much of a fight. The best summary of the game would be, poor 40, gifted 14 points, wasted 2 or 3 clear chances and still had a chance of winning the game with 10 to go. We learn and move on.

Preston visit us today and will be full of confidence after a big win away at Huddersfield last week. They’ve had some positive results recently, seem to free scoring and right in every game to the end. They will no doubt come looking for 5 points. We have spoken about backs to the wall mentality this week, forget this underdog story we have been selling and take the game out from minute 1. It wont be same squad as last week as we are now looking at our first real injury test, looking a good 8 forwards missing and 4 backs, all have been in the 1st team squad all season. Its time to prove what we are about and that depth we have spoken about needs to shine.

Lets hope for another really busy day, the home crowds have been bouncing and we love the atmosphere that’s been created.

#OSIOS

CAPTAIN'S CORNER

ELLIOTT HUSBAND

1ST XV & CLUB CAPTAIN

Peaks & Troughs

There is no doubt that this season would always have its ups and downs. I used to have a belief that we should never get too high and never get too low. This season my opinion has changed slightly, we have generally had our best performances when we have built into a game like a cup final, that big game feeling like Leeds at home, tends to bring the best out of the lads. Looking at it from a different angle, the emotion we show and the disappointment we feel after a loss is an illustration of how much this team cares about how we perform. 

We are now at the point where being competitive against ‘big’ teams is not enough. We are bedded in, we are now acclimatised to this standard, we have proved that we are very capable of not only surviving but thriving. Internally our expectations have changed, we are going to start welcoming the pressure we put on ourselves, hopefully that pressure will create diamonds. 

On the theme of motivation, I’d like to take the chance to thank everyone who turned out to support us against Leeds Tykes on our Ex-Players Day, it makes a tangible difference on the field when we have so many fans creating such a raucous atmosphere. We now set out to restart our unbeaten home streak (19 months before Leeds) this Saturday against Preston Grasshoppers, a team we have played several times in recent memory, with varying results. If our loyal supporters can strive to recreate the environment and occasion of a fortnight ago, Greenwood Road will be the fortress we know it can be. 

The playing squad are committed to representing this great club in the best way they can, both on and off the field. Something that was encouraging after the Leeds game was how many conversations were going on between past, present and future. Keeping the current squad connected to where we have come from, and who got us there is imperative to Billingham’s identity, alongside connections with the younger members, provides a clear pathway for a healthy community club for decades to come.

On this note, feel free to grab any member of our playing or coaching squad in the clubhouse, pick their brain, express an opinion, even buy them a beer! The more connected we are from sponsors, to players, to supporters, the longer we are securing our future success for. Our spirit is our strength, but our spirit depends on staying connected. 

I look forward to sharing a special season with all of you. 

#OSIOS

SAVE THE DATE!

LADIES DAY - 6TH APRIL, 2024.

They're likely to see out quickly too so save the date. Follow us on social media to get notified of when they will be available.

TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON!

Calling all young U12 girls in County Durham and the North East!

Are you ready to embark on an incredible journey of teamwork, skill development, and fun?

Join us for an exciting season of U12 Girls Rugby, where the spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship takes centre stage.

Our U12 Girls Rugby programmes are the perfect opportunity for girls under 12 to discover the joys of rugby. Whether you're new to the sport or looking to hone your skills, our experienced coaches are here to support your growth every step of the way.

Develop lifelong friendships with like-minded girls who share your passion. Build physical fitness, coordination, and mental resilience. Learn essential life skills such as teamwork, communication, and leadership. Experience the thrill of competition in a safe and supportive environment.

But that's not all! To get a taste of the excitement, be sure to check out our accompanying promotional video, showcasing the incredible moments and unforgettable memories awaiting you on the rugby field. Don't miss this chance to be part of something extraordinary!

Ready to get started? Get in touch with your local club for more details. Together, we'll tackle challenges, score amazing tries, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Join us on this incredible rugby journey today!

Get in touch

BOOK YOUR EVENT TODAY!

The newly refurbished clubhouse is an ideal choice for any special celebration, live entertainment, conferences, meetings and sporting events:

  • - Flexible events and meeting space
  • - Can accommodate up to 150 banquet style
  • - Can accommodate up to 200 conference or standing
  • - Can host up to 12 tables of 10 with a dance floor
  • - Host up to 20 exhibition stalls
  • - Newly installed balcony can host up to 80 standing guests
  • - The balcony can also cater for tables and seated guests too
  • - Onsite AV systems available
  • - Large car park available

Now’s the time to get in touch!
Book your event today.

Want to book a time to take a look around?
Call us on 01642 560052

or click on the button below to email us:

Event Enquiries

CHRISTMAS FOOD DONATION

Please give a little joy to our local community.

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CLUB SPONSORS

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