Rival rugby teams join together in the face of adversity
- Credit: Nick Butcher
When it comes to rugby, rival teams compete to make the best tackles, score the most tries and ultimately win bragging rights.
But for two young teams from Beccles and Southwold, the rivalry has been put on hold as they have come together to make a new youth team.
Both sides faced a difficult decision at the start of the season, when fewer players seemed to be available in the under-14 age category.
So Andy Warnes, who is involved in both clubs, decided to organise a merger under the new name of Becc-Wold Under-14s to save both from folding.
'For some reason, the under-14 age group seems to have far fewer players available,' said Mr Warnes.
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'Many local Norfolk and Suffolk-based rugby teams do not even bother to run this age group.
'Both clubs were faced with a stark decision - fold the age group and let the handful of players each club had accumulated drift off into other sports, or try and do something a little more radical.
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'Luckily for the young players involved, both clubs recognised that it was more about getting as many youngsters involved in the sport as possible rather than to allow historic rivalries get in the way of progress, so it was proposed that the two clubs would merge their teams at this single age group in one final attempt to make a successful team.'
The newly-formed team will be coached by Southwold's Duncan Hume and Beccles' South African player JJ du-Plessis.
The youngsters recently played their first 60-minute match on Southwold common.
Mr Warnes added: 'Credit must be given to these two fine coaches, who are working well together to provide a solid and positive learning platform for this growing squad.
'We have the support of a minibus for away matches and we welcome experienced players, complete novices or even youngsters who have struggled to find a sport that suits them. With the Rugby Wold Cup arriving here next season, there must be no better time to try it out.'
Becc-Wold Under-14s are keen to welcome new players and are actively looking for boys aged 13 to 14 at the start of the school year, or who attend school year-nine.
Any interested parents of prospective players should contact Andy Warnes on 07767 647242 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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