The 2019 Rugby World Cup kicked off at the club on Saturday, February2nd, but on two wheels. Arriving with us before the Redruth game were two cyclists, Ron Rutland and James Owens, who are aiming for Tokyo and the start of the RWC. The first leg of their long distance journey, starting in London and covering over 20,000 metres and 23 countries, ended at the Marine Travel Ground. They were accompanied by a group of riders and they joined players and supporters in the clubhouse later in the afternoon to watch the Ireland v England Six Nations game. Ron and James’s epic journey will raise money for ChildFund Pass It Back, the official charity of the Rugby World Cup tournament and its logistics partner DHL as well as promoting the game of rugby. If you would like to know more go to the cycle ride’s web site: www.racetorwc.com

Well, that’s January done and dusted. Three wins, one defeat and sixteen league points locked away is a decent return. The tense win over Taunton may have been the month’s highlight but last week’s result at Worthing counts as a contender. The Sussex club have been a real problem for us and until last Saturday we had not won at their Roundstone Lane ground for eight seasons. In terms of performance it was not great, but getting a result and coming away with maximum points meant job done. We faced another big hurdle in Redruth who may not have enjoyed the best of seasons by their own high standards but are as tough and competitive as ever. Canterbury will be missed the services of wing Ricky Mackintosh who has been in outstanding form. Ricky was unavailable but it is only for one week and he should be back in the frame for the visit to Clifton That is another ground, like Worthing, where we have come up short all too often. We are lucky to have a quality replacement for Ricky in Charlie Grimes who made the most of his game time with the Pilgrims last week by scoring a hat trick of tries. As we go into the final third of a long season clubs need to have some depth un their squads. Andy Pratt has beefed up our resources with the signing of Australian centre Ben Neville and Ashford prop Tm Murray. Ben has already made his mark with the Pilgrims while Tom a former Canterbury junior, and brother of wing JJ, has plenty of experience at this level with Tonbridge Juddians.

The team’s performance at Worthing was below par but was still enough for the win. Worthing has always been a difficult place to get anything so we must draw the positives from it whilst recognising we can do a lot better. The win over Taunton two weeks ago showed us at close to our best, particularly in the first half. However, the game did not need to go to that last kick had we taken all our chances in that period. Both teams have missed kicks to win at the death in both games played this season which shows how remarkably close we are to each other. We also lost the penalty count by a wide margin – to win that particular battle at Worthing was crucial and a pleasing response. One positive since Christmas has been the re-introduction of some of our long-term injured. Sam Rogers’ form has been remarkable since his return from 14 months out. It’s been great to see Harvey Young and Tyler Oliver return to the squad and challenging for places. Special mention to physio Charlie Bannigan and rehab specialist Max Ganderton on the great work they are doing during the week.

Andy Pratt, Head of Rugby

The planning application from Quinn Estates which may decide the whole future of our club goes before Canterbury City Council Planning Committee on Tuesday, February 5th. The proposed relocation of the club to Highland Court is of extreme importance and we need to get the support of as many members as possible to put before the Planning Committee. The time frame is short so please e-mail your local Councillor and members of that committee. Most members will have received the-e-mail from our chairman Giles Hilton giving details of committee members and the on-line link to all local councillors. The Plana Committee members are Jenifer Samper, chairman; Ashley Clark vice-chairman; Brian Baker, Rosemary Doyle, Nick Eden-Green, Georgina Glover, Robert Jones, Heather Taylor, David Thomas, Ian Thomas, Robert Thomas, Simon Warley, Sally Waters. Remember, the club is not committed to anything apart from our support until all planning issues have been resolved. The link to all City Councillors is:

Our Wheelchair Rugby squad, Hellfire, had a tough weekend at Stoke Mandeville in the Second Round of the GBWR Super series. Over the two days they managed a couple of victories but finished in sixth position. The squad now heads off to Leicester for the final round of the series knowing that a place in League One rugby next season is very much in their own hands. At Stoke Mandeville they gave a debut to Irish intenatii0nal Mick O’Hanlon and welcomed back former Great Britain captain Steve Brown after washing the mud off his wheels from his latest assignment with the BBC’s Countryfile programme. Great Britain Development player Faye West was also part of the team although they missed Brice Maneul who was on duty with the French national side.


Two big nights out at the club are coming up as we look forward to Spring, so make sure you book early. We kick-off on Friday 22nd of this month with a Sports Quiz and in March there is a St Patrick’s Party Night. That is on Friday, March 15th. For the quiz we are looking for tables of 4/6 people at a cost of £7.50 per head. The price includes a Ploughmans Supper and there will be prizes for the winner and a ‘booby’ prize for the team finishing last.
The St Patrick’s party it’s £25 per head and for that you get one of Ted Phillips’ great sit down meals and a Ceilidh band. You can arrange tables of eight or ten or buy individual tickets.
For both events contact Ted Phillips or Steve Archer; e-mail: tedphillips@hotnail.co.uk.