Rugby star Will Greenwood helps launch sport initiative

Youngsters from Cumberland School at the launch of the initiative with Sir Robin Wales, Nick Bracken

Youngsters from Cumberland School at the launch of the initiative with Sir Robin Wales, Nick Bracken and Will Greenwood - Credit: Archant

A scheme designed to get youngsters playing rugby has been launched in Newham by the RFU to mark two years until the sport’s World Cup.

As part of the Rugby Football Union’s Posts in the Parks initiative, a single set of specially designed rugby posts have been installed at Newham Leisure Centre in Prince Regent Lane, Plaistow,

Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales and Will Greenwood, a member of England’s 2003 World Cup winning side, kicked over the first balls with 15 pupils from Plaistow’s Cumberland School.

The youngsters aged 12 and 13, were put through their paces by Will and Nick Bracken, chairman of West Ham-based East London Rugby Football Club, and coaches from ActiveNewham, the council’s sports provider.

As part of the Posts in the Parks scheme, Newham as hosts of Rugby World Cup 2015 can install up to ten single sets of posts supplied by the RFU between now and the start of the tournament. Five matches will be played at the Olympic Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in September and October 2015.

Sir Robin said: “The sight of single rugby posts springing up in parks and open spaces where none have been seen before will help us to get more people playing. Anyone will be able to try their hand at replicating the most historic moment in the history of English Rugby when Jonny Wilkinson kicked a drop goal to win the World Cup in Australia in 2003.”

Will Greenwood said: “Posts in the Parks is a great concept. It is a real opportunity to raise interest and awareness of the game in Newham. For the RFU to have a legacy programme in place now means that more people can have access to Rugby – not only in the lead-up and during Rugby World Cup 2015, but long afterwards.”

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