REDDITCH Queenfishers had the honour of meeting England rugby union legend Jonny Wilkinson CBE when they sent two mixed touch rugby teams to Loughborough on Saturday as part of the O2 Touch Tour, writes Amy Flynn.
Thirty-two teams from across the country entered the tournament and, up against some difficult competition, one Redditch team did not make it past the pool stages, whilst the second team which included Queenfishers coach Garry Mills reached the quarter-finals.
This Redditch side then lost out to Nottingham team Touch and Go after playing to sudden-death to decide a winner.
However, the highlight of most people’s day was meeting the rugby stars involved. Television star Vernon Kay hosted the tournament, bringing his humour to help organise the event and interview Alex Corbisiero, the loose head prop for Northampton Saints and England, along with Amy Cokayne, the young England Women’s hooker.
After becoming an ambassador for O2 Touch earlier in the year, Rugby World Cup winner Wilkinson also joined the tournament at Loughborough Rugby Football Club and he became the main attraction of the day as a large group of excited fans followed him around the event, with some even lucky enough to play a taster session of touch rugby with the legend himself.
Wilkinson gave up some of his time in his busy schedule to do a question and answer session and one Queenfisher – Melanie Vaughan – was picked out of the crowd to join the former fly half on stage and she decided to ask about his pre-match rituals.
The ex-Toulon player revealed the last piece of clothing he would put on before any game was his shoulder pads and, once they were on, he became solely focused on the match ahead.
Despite the wet and windy weather throughout the day, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and the Queenfishers – the women’s touch rugby section of Redditch RFC – would like to thank James Shotbolt for organising the team’s involvement in such a great event.