Rugby is the single greatest sport in the world. Hosting the World Cup will showcase the highest level of the game on the world stage. But it is the social level, the grassroots, that people in New Zealand truly love – and the English are largely the same. This is where friendships that last a lifetime are forged.
This message resonated with with Sutton and Epsom Rugby Club in Cheam. They’re a group of 20-something friends, who attended university together in the South Island and played rugby for a team called the Waterboys. When they left university, the friends scattered across the globe and the team was disbanded.
It was decided that the team should reform as a touring side and try to get together once a year to watch an All Blacks game and play against a local side. As the Rugby World Cup is coming to Britain next month, the perfect scenario was born for their most audacious challenge to date.
Sutton and Epsom are more than up for the challenge.
“International tourists are rare these days, and the chance to host a team from New Zealand is something special,” says Sutton and Epsom club captain ‘Stitch’. “The date of their visit clashes with a beer festival we are holding at the club. I’d call that fate.”
The game kicks off at 2:30 at Sutton and Epsom’s home ground – Cuddington Court, Rugby Lane, Cheam, Surrey, SM2 7NF (www.suttonrugby.co.uk).
Entry is free and coverage of all the World Cup games will be broadcast on large screens throughout the club, so you won’t miss a moment of action.
Come down and cheer the Waterboys to victory on English soil.