RUGBY: World Cup winner Hill comes to Town

LEARNING FROM THE BEST: Spalding RFC are pictured with 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Richard Hill. Photos by TIM WILSON
LEARNING FROM THE BEST: Spalding RFC are pictured with 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Richard Hill. Photos by TIM WILSON

Spalding RFC have spoken of their honour at having England legend Richard Hill lead an expert training session at the club last Thursday night.

The former Rugby World Cup winner was at Town’s training facility at Tyrell’s Yard last week, after the club were announced as the winner of the national grassroots rugby competition, QBE Hit Squad.

England rugby player Richard Hill training session at Spalding RFC Tyrell's Yard'Richard Hill with squad

England rugby player Richard Hill training session at Spalding RFC Tyrell's Yard'Richard Hill with squad

The prize was awarded to clubs who best demonstrated the benefits of receiving expert guidance from top professional coaches – with judges particularly impressed with Spalding’s wealth of young talent at the club.

Hill, who spent time with the club’s mini section and first team, said: “We went back to the core basic skills with Spalding RFC to ensure I passed on best practice coaching and technical advice.

“The session focused on technique and tactics around the breakdown both in attack in defence to ensure the team retain quality possession of the ball.”

Town skipper Harry Sharman admits that it was a huge honour for the club to spend time with a legend of the game – and feels the team will benefit from the session long-term.

He said: “He was very welcoming and down to earth. I know that he spoke to (coach) Niall Thomson before visiting us and was told of a few things that we needed to work on.

“Sometimes you can over-complicate the game. He stripped things back to the basics and I think we’ll benefit massively from it.

“It was a massive honour to have somebody of Richard’s stature at our club.”

It’s now back to the bread and butter of Midlands Two East (North) action for Spalding, who welcome Loughborough to the Memorial Field on Saturday (2.15pm).

Town go into the match 11 points behind leaders Belgrave, having dispatched Melton Mowbray 22-0 on Saturday.

They do have two games in hand on the table-toppers though – and the first of those is this Saturday.

“It’d be good to close the gap,” added Sharman. “Ideally, we need another bonus point win really.

“We played some of our best rugby to date in the first half on Saturday, so that was encouraging. We got points on the board early doors, which is always a massive help.

“Loughborough will be tough, it always is against them. They came down with us last season, so we know them very well.”

Key duo Ed Duerden and Harry Brown should return to the Town squad.