Rugby club has something to be proud of

TODAY everyone connected with Ipswich YMCA RFC can take great pride in Brian Williams' appointment as the new president of the Rugby Football Union.What makes his appointment - as a representative of a junior rugby club - all the more astonishing is that he is the second person from Ipswich YM to take the job in the last 20 years.

TODAY everyone connected with Ipswich YMCA RFC can take great pride in Brian Williams' appointment as the new president of the Rugby Football Union.

What makes his appointment - as a representative of a junior rugby club - all the more astonishing is that he is the second person from Ipswich YM to take the job in the last 20 years.

Brian has enjoyed a wonderful career at all levels of the game he loves - from player in his youth through to referee and, in recent years, as a much-admired administrator.

His appointment is, of course, a recognition of his work for the game - but it is also a wonderful vote of confidence in his club and in the junior ranks of rugby union as a whole in this country.


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It is the junior clubs which provide the grassroots support which rugby needs to continue to flourish in this country.

Brian knows he has quite an act to follow after his team-mate Sandy Sanders' spell as RFU president in 1989-90, but at least he won't have far to look if he needs advice on how to carry out the job!

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IPSWICH Cricket Club is not one of the long-established sporting institutions of the area - it was only established in 2003 following the merger of Tattingstone CC and Browns CC.

But it has quickly established a fine reputation around local leagues, both for the quality of its players and the high standard of the pitches prepared by groundsman Kester Clarke.

Now the club has achieved national recognition by being named as club of the month by Wisden Cricket Monthly, the most respected publication for the sport.

That means it has won some extremely welcome new kit - and has been entered for the magazine's top award, the Club of the Year contest.

As a club which puts a great deal of emphasis on encouraging young talent - it runs a number of different teams including a women's team - it is doing a great deal to encourage a sport which is often ignored by schools unable to commit themselves to such a long game.

This award brings with it welcome recognition for the fine work at every level of the club - and everyone connected with cricket in Suffolk will be wishing them all the best when the Club of the Year is chosen.

IPSWICH Town's tour of Northern Ireland has given the players a welcome chance to get together and prepare for the new season before next month's big kick-off.

The tour has been successful, even if their have been occasional slight hiccups such as Danny Haynes' losing his head during last night's victory over Donegal Celtic.

And Jim Magilton has clearly not allowed his visit to his native land distract him from the important business of building next season's squad with new players arriving at Portman Road over the next few days.

What is very important is that this tour, and new arrivals, should help to build up interest among the fans - and interest that is vital for the club if last season's fine attendances are to be repeated in 2008/9.

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