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The high-spec posts made by Lowestoft firm Harrod UK for the 2015 Rugby World Cup

Harrod UK in Lowestoft won the contract to supply the rugby posts for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Pictures: Stephen Taber.

Harrod UK in Lowestoft won the contract to supply the rugby posts for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Pictures: Stephen Taber.

Stephen Taber

To an average person, a rugby post seems little more than a few straightforward peces of metal in the ground.

However Harrod UK produces 24 different types of rugby post - and the ones it has supplied for this year’s Rugby World Cup are the most high-specification in the business.

Whereas its mini rugby posts - designed for junior games - are 63mm in diameter, the Millennium Rugby Posts used in this year’s tournament are 140mm at the bottom.

The posts are relatively straightforward to produce at Harrod UK’s Lowestoft factory, taking a team of around 24 people about two to three days to finish including welding and painting.

Harrod UK then has its own vehicles to transport 17m posts to stadiums such as Twickenham and Murrayfield, where they are inserted into sockets fitted into the ground a year earlier.

However while a rugby post might seem a fairly innocuous object, safety is one of Harrod UK’s paramount concerns.

Around the time it started winning contracts for major sporting events, it led a European Standards Committee on how to keep goalposts secure.

“It was the biggest problem the industry faced,” said Harrod UK sales and marketing director Les Saunders.

As such as each of Harrod UK posts for the World Cup are rigourously tested by a structural engineer, using a hi-tech computer programmes to detect how it would cope with high winds.

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