SCRFC approved World Cup Team Base

England 2015

Last Updated: Feb 5, 2014 05:48pm
Sutton New Hall, Birmingham
By James Haywood
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Sutton Coldfield RFC gains spot on the England 2015 Approved list of team bases


In response to the call from England 2015 to host a visiting team during the Rugby World Cup in 2015, Sutton Coldfield RFC joined forces with Birmingham Metropolitan College and the Belfry to put forward a strong bid to get onto the short list of approved bases.

‘We’re really excited to be able to have an opportunity to play a part in the RWC 2015’, said Jim Haywood, Sutton Coldfield RFC Chairman of Directors.

‘We’re over the moon to be through to the next stage and we’ll continue to work closely with England Rugby 2015. Hosting a team would be fantastic for our facilities and the local area and will help us plant Sutton Coldfield firmly on the World Cup map if we are selected. We’re delighted that our facilities met the criteria and it shows our plans are world class.’

‘We’ve got the bit between the teeth with the development and work is forging ahead. We know the power in having a rugby club as a team base is huge and the legacy it leaves behind the Rugby World Cup is something we are eager to be part of’.


Sutton Coldfield RFC development planning

Sutton Coldfield RFC moved to the Roger Smoldon Ground on Walmley Road just over 25 years ago and the facilities have constantly been improved. We’re currently bang in the middle of a development project which ties in so well with what is required for a team base it seemed a great opportunity which was too good to miss.

Part of the development includes a brand new gym which is currently under way and will be open at the beginning of March. Crossfit B76 ( operate from the site offering some great facilities for the whole community. This gym is already seen as a major part of rugby player’s physical development and replaces the tired and under used indoor sand area.

‘In its day, the indoor training area was state of the art.’ said Matt Nevitt, head of rugby coaching at the club. ‘The area allowed full contact training in an indoor environment, but the game has changed now. The name of the game is invasion and not clattering into each other. It’s a much more physically demanding game now and players need to be at their peak physical fitness to compete at this level. This new professional gym on site will allow us to work on this and develop it further.’

The developments all started back in 2011 when the then Chairman Geoff Fletcher put in place the process for an extension to the downstairs bar, toilet improvements and a medical room in the players changing area.

‘It was an ambitious plan’, Geoff said, ‘but one we needed to start in order that we could improve the playing experience and upgrade the bar, adding more space for the larger crowds we were seeing. It’s great now to see the project continuing and building a great future for the club’.

The next stage of the plan is the provision of two new en suite changing rooms and the development of a brand new floodlit pitch which is all part of the England 2015 Team Base proposal.

The total 5 year project is somewhere in the region of £250,000 of investment with the biggest cost of the pitch and changing rooms to come in the next few months.

‘It’s vital we invest to improve at the club’ said JimHaywood. ‘We’re a growing club and one which has become club of choice for many mini & junior players in the area. We’re extending our players to not only include boys and men but also girls and women’s teams and building a sustainable pathway for players of both genders to develop to their full potential. Add to this the experience of many social members who enjoy coming down to meet friends and watch some great rugby and it’s a club with a real buzz.’

Sutton Coldfield RFC were awarded ‘Club of the Year 2013’ in recognition of all the work, the ongoing development and the growth they have achieved on the back of the efforts of all of its members.

The club also holds a converted RFU Accredited Club status award has well over 320 children playing rugby each week and over 300 senior club members. Drawing crowds of over 300 for each home game is not unusual and peak crowds of 1,500+ for big games have been recorded.

Each year the club hosts its community bonfire event to raise funds and provide a link with the local community. Having run safe and friendly events for many years crowds of over 4,000 come each year to watch the fireworks and see one of Birmingham’s largest bonfires.

This year the club are running a Rugby 7s tournament across the weekend of May 31st to June 1st. The Midland 7s will draw teams from across the UK and provide a tournament for social, pro and ladies teams to compete in. With the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and Rugby 7s being an Olympic Sport in 2016 at Rio then it’s an ideal time to push for the event to become a firm part of the sevens calendar.



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