Parrots and pirates join prop forwards for beach rugby

Chichester's Park Tavern seafarer and trusty parrot on Wittering beach
Chichester's Park Tavern seafarer and trusty parrot on Wittering beach

Chichester RFC played host to more than 250 players and officials plus numerous supporters at their fourth annual charity tag beach rugby festival.

By the time players arrived, Chichester officials and the support team from the Leisure Rugby department of the RFU from Twickenham had transformed West Wittering beach into an eight-pitch rugby park complete with computer-driven control and catering facilities for participants.

The event was staged as part of the newly-launched RFU initiative Choose Rugby.

A total of 32 teams travelled from across the south under some unlikely names, such as Sandra’s Castles, Black’n’White Ninjas, Pink Thunder and Victorious Secrets.

They played a pool competition of 48 games in blustery conditions and after lunch, teams progressed to the knockout stages, with the final being played between Devizes and Bognor.

In a fast game the result was decided by Devizes scoring a golden try to repeat their win of last year. They have already pledged to return next year.

Beneficiaries of this year’s event are St Wilfrid’s Hospice, Help for Heroes and Wooden Spoon (Sussex).

Chichester RFC officials thanked David Piper, estate manager for West Wittering, the Leisure Rugby department of the RFU, community rugby coach Mike Marsh and community referees from Sussex, plus major sponsors O’Hagans Sausages.