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Welcome to the latest issue of Club Rugby, the magazine for grassroots rugby clubs, the backbone of the sport. It’s our favourite time of the year as the Six Nations takes centre stage in the sporting firmanent as oval ball fanatics and casual sports fans alike gather to watch the action on TV screens or indeed, live, if they are lucky enough to grab hold of a ticket for these much-anticipated games. During tournament matchdays there is invariably an extra buzz around British and Irish rugby clubs as supporters enjoy the drama of this annual spectacle unfold at some of Europe’s greatest sporting cathedrals. It would appear that we are in for a highly competitive Six Nations this time around with all the teams going into the tournament with high expectations, not least England who are vying for their third successive title. But the men in white will know that each and every rival player will be straining every sinew to down the reigning champions. I’m sure, like me, you can’t wait for it all to kick off.


Mike Braidwood

Chris Colverd

Sean Ferris

Karen Foreman

Larry Hardcastle

Jonathan Hardy

David Lucas

Brian O’Driscoll

Leigh Ann Ogilvie

Justin O’Regan

Victoria Romero-Trigo

Jill Slingsby

Editor Justin O’Regan Design David Foster Editorial Chris Colverd, Caroline Scoular Events Karen Foreman, Jill Slingsby Display Advertising Margaret Doherty Sales & Marketing Leigh-Ann Ogilvie Circulation Jon Hardy Accounts Andrew Soles Publishing Director Sean Ferris

As you’ll see from the article in this issue, in January around 150 Club Rugby readers were given the opportunity to head down to BT Sport’s studios in East London to become the audience for the Rugby Tonight show. Club Rugby is published by Alchemy Contract Publishing (ACP) Ltd. Club Rugby is a sister title to ACP’s Club Mirror and Clubhouse Europe.

It was a great occasion and it was fascinating to see first-hand how skilfully and professionaly the programme is put together, as well as to brush shoulders with the likes of Brian O’Driscoll, Ben Kay and Martin Bayfield. Many thanks to BT Sport for setting up the ‘audience takeover’ and if your club would like to join the audience of a future edition of the show, please drop us a line at and we’ll put you in touch with BT Sport. As always, this month’s Club Rugby has plenty of features to help grassroots clubs reach their business potential and boost their revenues. We also have plenty of expert advice on a whole range of club-centric topics. JUSTIN O’REGAN

ACP Gainsborough House 59/60 Thames Street Windsor Berkshire SL4 1TX UK t. +44 (0)1753 272022 f. +44 (0)1753 272021

The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers. Club Rugby does not verify the claims made by advertisers regarding their products.


Contents 8



6 News A round-up of the latest news from the rugby scene, including news of the England Legends v Ireland Legends charity match being held at the Twickenham Stoop in March.

8 The Six Nations Championship Club Rugby looks ahead to what promises to be a fascinating tournament as England aim for their third successive title.

26 Sports listings Sports4Bars looks ahead to some of the great live sporting events coming up over the next month.

12 Players to watch Some of the men who are likely to make a mighty impact during the upcoming Six Nations.



28 Red Roses are ready England Women begin their Six Nations title defence against Italy on February 4 in Rome.

16 Our readers join the audience at BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight

31 Club Awards 2017. And the winners are...

Over 150 Club Rugby readers headed to East London to become the audience for an edition of BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight.

For those of you who couldn’t be with us on 30 November, 2017 join us here as we revisit a night of celebration at the 26th Club Awards.

20 Saracens and Scarlets in the Champions Cup Quarter-Finals

46 Club Awards 2018

Can the reigning champions make it through to the last four?

Still making your New Year Resolutions? Then add this one to the list – enter the 2018 Club Awards!

24 Falcons flying high in Challenge Cup

48 HQ Building the Business

Newcastle Falcons continue their fantastic run in the European Challenge Cup as they prepare for the quarter-finals.

The legalities of posting pictures. Plus: New Year new you? And insights into Millenials’ buying habits.

50 HQ Building the Business – Better Buying

55 A word with...

57 Theft – it isn’t always a stranger

Want to cut club spending while increasing efficiencies? Here’s how.

Club Insure's Broking Director shares his thoughts.

Discovering theft is always a shock, especially when the culprit is someone you trust.

52 Racing Club

56 Tracking prevention

58 Web advice

Discounted race day tickets for clubs and members.

The folk at Larrytech gauge the impact of Apple’s IOS update.

Are people leaving your website as quickly as they’ve logged on? Check out the top 10 reasons why.


59 Social media in the workplace Guidelines for employers and employees on establishing and implementing a social media policy.




News from the touchline Nominations open for RFU Volunteer Awards Entries for the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards are now open, with the awards recognising volunteers who have made an outstanding contribution to rugby in their club, school or community. Last year over 1,500 entries were submitted for the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year Awards as volunteers across the country were identified for their valuable work in the game. The four winners were announced at an awards evening at Twickenham Stadium, where they were awarded a Mitsubishi Motors vehicle of their choice, to keep for a year. Nominations are open until February 26. For further information, go to

Farrell on the shortlist for European Player Award Owen Farrell is in the running for the European Player of the Year Award

Tickets on sale for England v Baa-baas Tickets for England’s match against the Barbarians on Sunday, May 27 have now been put on public sale. The uncapped fixture will take place at Twickenham Stadium and sees the two sides compete for the Quilter Cup. In last season’s match, England beat the Barbarians 28-14, which saw head coach Eddie Jones give a number of new faces their first opportunity in an England shirt including Tom Curry, Nick Isiekwe, Alex Lozowski and Sam Underhill. All four went on to win full caps for their country during England’s summer Test series in Argentina a few weeks later. England head coach Eddie Jones said: “The Quilter Cup is an important match for us as we prepare for our three Test series against South Africa in June. “The series will be a big challenge for this team and we know the Barbarians will provide us a fantastic opportunity to play against some high-quality opposition before the tour. “The Barbarians brand of rugby is well known for being exciting and open and we will look forward to playing them in May in front of a big crowd at Twickenham.” Tickets will start from £15 for adults and £10 for children and can be bought via the official RFU website. 6 CLUB RUGBY

Players from eight different clubs and all three European professional leagues are among the 15 nominees for the EPCR European Player of the Year 2018 award, presented by Turkish Airlines. Leinster Rugby's 100 per cent record in the Champions Cup pool stage not only earned them the No.1 ranking in the quarterfinals, but that impressive run of form sees four of their squad - Scott Fardy, Tadhg Furlong, Isa Nacewa and Jonathan Sexton nominated for one of the most prestigious individual accolades in the world game. La Rochelle's eye-catching Champions Cup debut has also earned nominations for Levani Botia, Dany Priso and Victor Vito, whilst the ASM Clermont Auvergne pair, Morgan Parra and Alivereti Raka, as well Tadhg Beirne and Gareth Davies of the Scarlets, are included in the star-studded list which was selected by a panel of renowned rugby experts. Last year’s winner, Owen Farrell of Saracens, who received the inaugural

Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy as well as one million air miles from Turkish Airlines, is included once again. Farrell’s legion of supporters will be hoping that he and reigning champions Saracens can progress in the competition after a somewhat disappointing group stage campaign which saw them scrape into the quarter-finals where they will take on Leinster in Dublin. If they can overcome the odds at the Aviva Stadium, there is every chance that the North London side will be installed as favourites for their third successive title. Rugby fans can vote for their choice by visiting the official Champions Cup Rugby website at: Those who register to vote will be in the running to win two VIP tickets to the Challenge Cup and Champions Cup finals in Bilbao in May with one night’s accommodation. The list will be reduced to five players in

April following the Champions Cup semifinals by a combination of the public vote and the verdict of the panel of judges. The voting will then be reopened and the winner of the 2018 award will be announced after the final in Bilbao on Saturday, May 12. EPCR European Player of the Year Award Nominees Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets) Levani Botia (La Rochelle) Gareth Davies (Scarlets) Scott Fardy (Leinster Rugby) Owen Farrell (Saracens) Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby) Conor Murray (Munster Rugby) Isa Nacewa (Leinster Rugby) Leone Nakarawa (Racing 92) Morgan Parra (ASM Clermont Auvergne) Dany Priso (La Rochelle) Alivereti Raka (ASM Clermont Auvergne) Jonathan Sexton (Leinster Rugby) Josua Tuisova (RC Toulon) Victor Vito (La Rochelle)

England and Ireland Legends XVs set for clash on Friday, March 16

World Rugby Museum reopens at Twickenham The World Rugby Museum at Twickenham Stadium has moved to a new home in the South Stand and will reopen in time for the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations Championship. The World Rugby Museum is the definitive home for everything and anything about rugby. Featuring more than three times as many objects than previously, the new museum will display memorabilia from around the world and from all eras, making it a must visit for all rugby fans. The new location presented an opportunity for the museum to improve its content and modernise its interpretive methods, according to museum curator Phil McGowan.

Rugby on TV We have full details of all the live rugby coming in the next month, including the Six Nations Championship on BBC and ITV, plus the Aviva Premiership ties showing on BT Sport. We also have comprehensive listings of the key live events in other sports taking place in February and March, not least all the big Premier League football matches showing on BT Sport and Sky Sports and the start of the new Super League season – go to

“The cutting edge new museum will be bigger, better, brighter and more interactive than ever before,” he said. “It will house the world’s most prestigious collection of rugby memorabilia. This will include commentary, film and match-footage from the most iconic moments, memorable tours and greatest players in the history of what is the world’s most dramatic team sport. “It will also include purpose-built events, education and research facilities and invite visitors to engage in the game with exciting hands-on interactive exhibits.” For more information, see:

The annual charity match between England and Ireland Legends XVs will take place on Friday, March 16 at the Twickenham Stoop. This is guaranteed to be a fantastic occasion and one that will raise funds for some incredible causes. Indeed, in the 13 matches they have played, the England Legends have raised a total of £943,000 for charity. The nominated causes for the 2018 match will be the foundation established to help former Harlequins prop Paul Curtis, who was paralysed in an accident to adapt his home; The RPA’s Restart Rugby; The Players Charity; The IRFU Charitable Trust; The IRUPA and Cure Parkinson’s Trust. The Legends event will offer a family night of entertainment with pre-match curtain raisers between local rugby minis, half-time entertainment and a live band and dancing post-match. “The emphasis has always been to raise as much funds for the charities as possible

whilst ensuring we put on a really fantastic night of entertainment for all of those that come,” says said ex-Saracens player Andy Lee, managing director of event organisers Sportingclass. “The event would not take place without Validus RE, our loyal sponsors and partners and of course the amazing willingness of the players who travel from far afield to play” England Legends include: Jason Leonard, Mike Tindall, Lewis Moody, Tom May, Mark Cueto, Iain Balshaw, Nick Easter, Ollie Smith, George Chuter, Julian White, Kevin Yates, Lee Mears, Hugh Vyvyan, Garath Archer, Ollie Phillips, Paul Volley, Paul Sampson, Kris Chesney and Shaun Perry. Ireland Legends include Shane Byrne, Tony Buckley, David Corkery, Gavin Duffy, Simon Keogh, Mike Ross, James Downey, Isaac Boss, Andrew Dunne, Mel Deane, Liam Toland, Paddy Johns and Mal O’Kelly. Tickets are on sale directly from Harlequins:

Club Rugby readers enjoy role on BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight Club Rugby recently enjoyed a fantastic audience takeover at BT Sport’s midweek magazine programme Rugby Tonight. Readers from a diverse array of rugby clubs, including Coney Hill RFC, Diss RFC, Millwall RFC, Old Reigatians RFC and Stewarts & Lloyds RFC, rubbed shoulders with the likes of Brian O’Driscoll, Ben Kay and Martin Bayfield and helped create a fantastic atmosphere during the programme which was broadcast on January 17. For more on this, read the article on page 16 and if your club is interested in appearing on future editions email with your name, club and contact details and we’ll put you in touch with BT Sport. CLUB RUGBY 7

NATWEST 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP Many pundits believe the 2018 Championship will come down to a head-to-head battle between England and Ireland

All eyes on the prize As England set their sights on a third successive Six Nations title under coach Eddie Jones, their rivals will be hoping that the men in white’s ongoing injury crisis, coupled with a poor showing by English teams in European competition, signals a chance for a new name on the trophy in 2018.


efending Six Nations champions England are once again the team to beat in the upcoming tournament despite an ever-lengthening injury list and a fairly poor showing by English clubs in the European Champions Cup. England have a chance to become the first team to win the championship outright three years in a row following their excellent, if not entirely flawless campaigns, in 2017 and 2016. Under Jones the men in white have recorded 22 wins out of 23 games, the only blemish on their record under the current regime coming against Ireland in the final game of last year’s tournament in Dublin, a 13-9 defeat. Jones certainly has some notable names on the sidelines at the moment due to injury, not least Billy Vunipola, Nathan Hughes, Henry Slade and Kyle Sinckler, but there are plenty of eager candi-


dates willing to step and prove themselves at the highest level if required. After opening in Rome, England host Wales before trips to Scotland and France, with the final match at home at Twickenham against Ireland and there are certain to be further casualties along the way. Jones points to a number of young players who have come into the squad and are desperate to make a name for themselves, not least in the back row which appears to be a key area of strength for England. “I watched Zach Mercer, Sam Simmons, Gary Graham and Nick Isiekwe training as a back row,” Jones said. “They’re all young guys – Nick’s the most capped of all of them and he’s got two, so for us the opportunity is fantastic.” Meanwhile, veteran skipper Dylan Hartley is also mightily impressed with the next generation

of English talent who have come in to the squad to fight for starting places. “There’s an expectation when they turn up that they have to compete, you can’t just sit and watch,” he said. “They come in for those first few days and it’s sink or swim and they guys are swimming so far.” England open their campaign against Italy in Rome on February 4 and Jones knows that a win is absolutely essential against the Azzurri, no matter how many injuries his squad is carrying. Last year’s match at Twickenham was notable for the bizarre tactics adopted by Italy which saw their players affecting a ‘no-ruck’ game plan which left English players scratching their heads but ultimately failed to save Italy from a 36-15 defeat. Of course, it’s the toughest of openers for Italy, who have finished in bottom place in the past two

championships, as they face the formidable challenge of taking on the reigning champions. Even taking into account home advantage, it would be one of the major shocks of Six Nations history if Italy were to ambush England in the tournament opener. Many believe – including Jones, apparently – that it is Ireland who will be the favourites for the title this season after the fine form shown by their leading provincial teams, Munster and Leinster, the latter enjoying a 100 per cent record in the European Champions Cup. “The expectation on Ireland is high,” said Jones. “It’s different going into the tournament as favourites rather than being the underdogs. It’s a different position to be in but they’ve got a very good coach and a good team and I’m sure they’ll cope with it.” Ireland coach Joe Schmidt also has a few injury problems of his own with the likes of Garry Ringrose, Sean O’Brien and Dave Kilcoyne all injury doubts for the tournament but the form of Leinster and Munster in the European Champions Cup, both teams powering through to the quarter-finals, has raised expectations for the men in green. He admits that Ireland’s rugby structure, whereby the players are centrally contracted and their playing time managed, offers his side an advantage over some other countries in terms of keeping players fresh for the big games. “The four provinces are interconnected within the Irish set-up and that does make it less complex for us and it does make it more likely that you can forge in a similar direction,” said Schmidt. “You only have to look at the way Connacht play versus the way Munster play versus the way Leinster or Ulster play, they're still quite different.

Wales lost a number of key players to injury in the run-up to the Six Nations

“So even when they do come in, there is still a diversity and I love the fact that there is that diversity because that's part of what you try to bring together and get the best out of all those different ways of playing and those individuals who play in different ways.” But, like most coaches, Schmidt is determined to maintain the ‘one game at a time’ mentality and put all their focus on Ireland’s first opponents, France. While they have beaten the French four times in the past five years, Schmidt expects Les Bleus to pose a major challenge, despite the fact that their new coach Jacques Brunel was installed a bare five weeks before the start of the tournament following the sacking of Guy Noves after a disastrous run of results. “How quickly can France gel?” said Schmidt. “That is the challenge. I don’t know how much

homework people are doing on their young players but I am really impressed.” Schmidt points to France’s strength at fly-half and has also singled out Stade Francais lock Sekou Macalou as a real star of the future. “I was really impressed with Macalou in the November series,” said Schmidt. “He’s a guy that is at the front of my mind as well as those two young No.10s Anthony Belleau and Matthieu Jalibert – I think they’re both exciting.” As for Scotland, they enjoyed a memorable summer and autumn under coach Gregor Townsend, coming close to beating New Zealand and then recording a record score in their victory over Australia to add to their earlier victory in Sydney. Now Townsend is urging his players to step up another gear and build on those fine performances and challenge for the Six Nations title.

Scotland are full of confidence after achieving a record win over Australia in November



NATWEST 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP “We are well aware this tournament is going to be very difficult. It is the best rugby tournament in the world on a yearly basis,” said Townsend. “We will have to play even better than in November if we are going to win.” Townsend’s men open their campaign against Wales on February 3 in Cardiff, where Scotland have not won since 2002. But after breaking a 10-year losing run against the Welsh at Murrayfield in last year's tournament, and following the buoyancy of their autumn displays, Townsend is happy to ride the positivity wave. “I believe optimism can be a competitive advantage,” he said. “The role of a coach in any team is to create a feeling of optimism; you want your players to believe that what they have done – whether it is in previous games or in training – puts them in a good position to win on the weekend. “We can certainly refer to victories and performances and the way we train to create that optimism going into this tournament.” Captain John Barclay also knows that his players must step up and ensure that their November heroics can be repeated in the coming months. “We know if we perform well, we can put ourselves in a very good position. But we are not naive enough to think that other countries are not thinking the same thing,” he said. “Other countries in the Six Nations had good autumns as well, and have had years upon years of success in the Six Nations. So we are just scratching the surface of that, really.” As for Wales, their hopes of winning the tournament have been dealt several blows with injuries to key players, including Lions Sam France have a new coach in Jacques Brunel after Guy Noves was sacked six weeks before the start of the Six Nations

Warburton, Jonathan Davies, Rhys Webb, Liam Williams and Dan Biggar, but coach Warren Gatland is optimistic that the stunning form shown by the Scarlets in Europe, which saw the Llanelli-based side storm to the quarter-finals, will help Wales to achieve on the international stage. Gatland said: “It helps massively. You’re not picking up the pieces, trying to build up the confidence of the players. You’ve got players with the confidence and self-belief they can compete with the best in Europe. That breeds confidence in the entire squad.” Gatland also promised that his side will play a mixed style of game this year, neither playing an all-out expansive attacking game or a claustrophobic forward-orientated style. “It’s about using your strengths and having the flexibility to play with a ball player or a ball carrier,” said Gatland. “What we learned from the autumn is the need for the ability to play different ways against certain teams, to change it up. We will adapt rather than play the same way through the tournament.” But he admits that the first match, away to Scotland, will have a crucial bearing on Welsh fortunes for the entire tournament. “The great thing about this Six Nations is I think everyone is capable of beating each other, so we may well see some upsets,” he said. “We all know how important the first rounds of games are, If you win that then you go into the second weekend trying to get a second win and you think you have got a chance of winning the title.”

Six Nations Fixtures ROUND ONE Saturday, February 3 Wales v Scotland 2.15pm, BBC France v Ireland 4.45pm, BBC Sunday, February 4 Italy v England 3pm, ITV

ROUND TWO Saturday, February 10 Ireland v Italy 2.15pm, ITV England v Wales 4.45pm, ITV Sunday, February 11. Scotland v France 3pm, BBC

ROUND THREE Friday, February 23. France v Italy 8pm, BBC Ireland v Wales 2.15pm, ITV Scotland v England 4.45pm, BBC

ROUND FOUR Saturday, March 10 Ireland v Scotland 2.15pm, ITV France v England 4.45pm, BBC Sunday, March 11 Wales v Italy 3pm, BBC

ROUND FIVE Saturday, March 17 Italy v Scotland 12.30pm, ITV England v Ireland 2.45pm, ITV Saturday, March 17 Wales v France 5pm, BBC



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Players to watch With the NatWest 6 Nations Championship here, Club Rugby selects some of the players who could write their names in the history books as the tournament unfolds over the next two months. ZACH MERCER (ENGLAND) One man’s misfortune is another’s opportunity and the injuries suffered by England backrowers Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes, plus the suspension of James Haskell, could well see Bath No.8 Zach Mercer pitched into the action during the upcoming Six Nations. Called up to the squad as an apprentice for the November internationals, Mercer has shown such maturity that England coach Eddie Jones has stripped off the 20 year old’s L-plates and put him in the mix for selection. Jones believes that Mercer, the son of New Zealand Rugby League international Gary, is a natural ball player but warns the there is plenty of improvement needed. “He knows where to go and instinctively knows what to do,” said Jones. “What he hasn’t been good at is the hard parts of the game, working off the ball, doing those hard, defensive parts of the game. So I am really impressed with how he’s applied himself to that.” It would not be that much of a surprise to see Mercer running out to make his debut during the upcoming hostilities.

MATTHIEU JALIBERT (FRANCE) Just 19 years old, Jalibert has been in stunning form in club colours for Bordeaux Bègles and now earns a call-up to the national squad for the first time. Many seasoned pundits have been raving about the fly-half’s all-round skills and rare attacking ability and believe that if he is selected – and, crucially, given the time to become accustomed to the rarefied air of international rugby – he could become a talismanic figure for Les Bleus. A product of the French youth set-up, he had a starring role for the France U20s and has also appeared for the French Barbarians. But it is his performances in the Top 14 and European Challenge Cup which have marked him out as a class act and many a defender has been left clutching at thin air following one of his trademark line breaks. Jalibert apparently models himself on England’s Owen Farrell and while he currently lacks the sledgehammer physical presence of the Saracen, the Frenchmen has plenty of time to perfect all aspects of his game. Perhaps Jalibert will get the chance to test himself against Farrell before this Six Nations Championship has concluded.


JAMES DAVIES (WALES) The superb form of the Scarlets in the European Champions Cup pool stages has propelled a number of players into the spotlight and none more so than openside flanker James Davies. An Olympic silver medalist after appearing for Great Britain in the Sevens in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and a key man in the Scarlets’ Pro 12-winning side in 2017, Davies has scintillating pace that suits the fast, attacking play of the Scarlets to a tee. The younger brother of Lions and Wales centre Jonathan, Davies has been overlooked by the Welsh management so far but his performances on the European stage mean that they can no longer ignore what he brings to the party. His abilities to cover ground, tackle and strip the ball at the breakdown would be a major asset to the Welsh given that they will probably base their game around that of the Scarlets in the coming months. Davies’ recent starring role in the Scarlets’ epic 30-27 Champions Cup group game against French heavyweights Toulon saw the backrower give a real masterclass in the art of openside flanker play.

JACOB STOCKDALE (IRELAND) The 21-year-old Ulster winger deserves all the accolades which have been thrown his way and he always looks dangerous with ball in hand, whether playing for Ulster or Ireland. Stockdale has so far scored four tries in four appearances and is sure to add to that tally during the upcoming Six Nations Championship. During the last autumn international series, he was one of Ireland’s best players, scoring a try against South Africa and then two weeks later scoring two tries and the man of the match award in Ireland’s 28-19 victory over Argentina. He has endured some difficult performances for Ulster in recent months, most notably against Leinster at the RDS back in January, when he looked distinctly out of sorts as Leinster ran riot in the PRO14 tie, winning by 38-7. His defence is clearly not yet as outstanding as his attacking skills but he is certain to gain plenty of game time during the Six Nations and prove that he has what it takes to prosper in the white-hot intensity of the international arena. Indeed, his performance against La Rochelle in the Champions Cup should give him plenty of confidence going into the championship.



PLAYERS TO WATCH IAN MCKINLEY (ITALY) Born in Dublin, the Italy fly-half stands out on the field of play not just because of his excellent game management and skilful play, but courtesy of the safety goggles he is compelled to wear due to the horror injury he suffered playing for UCD in 2010 which resulted in him losing the sight in one eye. A team-mate’s boot caught him full in the eye and he was sidelined for six months before returning to the game and appearing for Leinster. But disaster struck 18 months later when his retina detached and he lost the sight in his left eye permanently. That appeared to be the end of McKinley’s playing career as he moved to Italy to begin life as a coach. But with new regulations coming in covering the use of safety goggles, McKinley got hold of the new equipment and restarted his career as a player, worked his way up through the leagues to play for the Zebre club and then Bennetton Treviso. Having qualified for Italy on residency grounds, McKinley made his international debut as a replacement against Fiji last November, kicking the last goal of the match. He has been in good form in adversity during Treviso’s recent European Champions Cup group campaign. Now he is determined to make an impact for his adopted country and get people talking about how he’s playing rather than what he’s wearing.

BEN TOOLIS (SCOTLAND) His accent may be more Gold Coast than Glasgow, but the Australian-born second row has shown huge commitment to the Scottish cause, even contributing to Scotland’s memorable victory over the Wallabies in Sydney during the summer - much to the delight of his mother who hails from Lanarkshire. He came up through the Australian youth rugby set-up, playing alongside twin brother Alex in the Australia U18 and U20 sides and also played international volleyball for his country of birth before signing for Edinburgh back in 2013. The six-foot-seven Edinburgh forward is a genuine athlete and looks to be in prime form going into this Six Nations. Capped seven times, he made his international debut as a replacement against Italy in the 2015 Championship and featured in all of Scotland’s games under new coach Gregor Townsend, including the most recent November series. At Edinburgh, he has become the driving force behind the pack and a lineout specialist of some note, as was apparent during his side’s recent European Challenge Cup ties which saw Edinburgh powering through to the quarter-finals. Extremely comfortable with ball in hand, he is a fearsome sight in attack, while his tackling stats are also mightily impressive.




Club Rugby readers enjoy a live experience Club Rugby readers were given the opportunity to become the audience for BT Sport’s popular midweek magazine show, Rugby Tonight, in January, enjoying banter with the likes of Martin Bayfield, Brian O’Driscoll, Ben Kay and Martyn Williams at the state-of-the-art studios in London.


ugby Tonight continues to be essential weekly viewing for rugby fans, an unmissable mix of match highlights, technical analysis and rugby debate by some of the biggest names in the game. In January, over 150 Club Rugby readers from clubs across the UK were given the opportunity to head down to BT Sport’s state-of-the-art studios in London’s Olympic park and become the audience for the duration of the show. With the programme going on air at 8pm, the audience members began to arrive at the studios from around 5.30pm, checking their coats and bags into the cloakroom and putting on their club jerseys before proceeding to the drinks reception inside the studio where they could enjoy some food and a few beers to get themselves into ‘rugby banter’ mode. There was also time for the official photographer to take some team snaps, while the Rugby Tonight crew also filmed some mini interviews for use in


the programme, asking selected audience members about their clubs and what rugby means to them. Then, with tranmission time around an hour away, the audience were called into the main area of the studio - complete with its full-size rugby posts and mini pitch – and given a briefing by Floor Manager Danny Steggall and his team. He expertly guided everyone through the nuances of live television before running through the various sections of the show and where the audience should position themselves for each of them. At this point the programme’s presenters – Martin Bayfield, Ben Kay and Brian O’Driscoll – took to the studio floor for a final review of the script in order to make any last-minute adjustments. Soon, with a final warning for everyone to switch off their mobile phones and get into position, the familiar theme music struck up and the programme was live on air.

And they certainly packed a lot into the show’s one-hour duration. The main guest was former Wales and Lions flanker Martyn Williams who came on to rapturous applause and sat down to answers questions from both the presenters and from viewers via Twitter. With the final round of the group stages of the Champions Cup coming up the following weekend, European rugby was high on the evening’s agenda with the assembled experts giving their opinions on which teams would make it through to the quarterfinals, as well as some highlights from the preceding weekend’s games. There was further chat on the other side of the studio in the ‘Ruck ‘n’ Maul bar as well as a live video link up with Exeter Chiefs winger Olly Woodburn. The programme finished with Brian O’Driscoll and Ben Kay running through a fascinating demonstration of backline decoy play that rounded off the show on a somewhat raucous note.

Ireland and Lions legend Brian Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Driscoll goes through the pre-broadcast rehearsal at the BT Sport studios

Club Rugby readers are given a briefing by presenter Martin Bayfield and Floor Manager Daniel Steggall




Going live! Rugby Tonight begins transmission as Martin Bayfield addresses the camera

The rugby debate continues in the Ruck ‘n’ Maul bar


The demonstration teams enjoy a masterclass in decoy play from Brian Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Driscoll

Join the audience for Rugby Tonight!

The entire audience poses for a picture alongside Martin Bayfield

If members of your club would be interested in forming part of the live studio audience for Rugby Tonight, then email us at and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll put you in touch with BT Sport.



EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP The Scarlets have become the first Welsh side to qualify for the European Cup quarter-finals since 2007

The road to Bilbao... Leinster against Saracens at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, April 1 will round off the European Champions Cup quarter-final weekend as four French teams, two Irish sides and one club apiece from Wales and England battle it out for a place in the semi-finals of the prestigious competition.


einster against Saracens at the Aviva Stadium will round off the European Champions Cup quarter-final weekend. The fixture details for the knockout stages have been announced with Leinster playing the defending champions on Sunday, 1 April in Dublin. The visit of Saracens to Dublin to face the top seeded team after the group stages will be the most anticipated game of the last eight for many, with Leinster aiming to continue their perfect record in the tournament this season after winning all six of their Pool Three matches. Leinster coach Leo Cullen is certainly looking forward to a huge occasion in Dublin. “The challenge doesn’t get any easier against a Saracens team looking for three Champion Cup titles in a row,” he said. “They’re well coached under Mark McCall and have an array of English and foreign talent at their disposal and they’re showing good form in Europe


and in the Premiership. “They’re the top try scorers in both competitions so we’re under no illusions as to the task ahead.” He added: “It’s a while away yet but great to know who we have and we can start planning. It’s a challenge that we very much look forward to and I know the Leinster supporters will respond in kind to make it a brilliant occasion at the Aviva.” On the same day, Clermont Auvergne face Racing 92 in an all-French contest at Stade MarcelMichelin, one of the most atmospheric grounds in the world game. Scarlets play La Rochelle at Parc y Scarlets in the opening quarter-final on Friday, 30 March while Munster versus Toulon is on Saturday, 31 March. There is massive excitement in Wales as the inform Scarlets, who have played some sensational rugby during their campaign, become the first Welsh side to qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time since 2007.

European Champions Cup Quarter-Finals Schedule Friday, March 30, 5.30pm, BT Sport Scarlets v La Rochelle Saturday, March 31, 5.30pm, Sky Sports Munster v Toulon Sunday, April 1, 1pm, Sky Sports ASM Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92 Sunday, April 1, 3.30pm, BT Sport Leinster Rugby v Saracens

Leinster have achieved a 100 per cent record so far and face a home quarterfinal against reigning chamions Saracens



EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP Newcastle Falcons won all six of their group games to qualify for the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals

The Challenge is on Easter weekend will see some massive head-to-head battles as the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup take place. Newcastle Falcons will enjoy home advantage against Brive at Kingston Park, having qualified for the last eight in style with a 100 per cent record in the group stages.


he Aviva Premiership has two representatives in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup with Newcastle Falcons and Gloucester both aiming for a place in the last four of the second-tier competition. The Challenge Cup final will take place on Friday, May 11 with the Champions Cup final scheduled for the following day, both events being staged in Bilbao. There are two Challenge Cup quarter-finals on Friday, March 30 as top seeds Pau welcome Stade Francais to the Stade du Hameau in the Pyrenees while Newcastle Falcons host Brive at Kingston Park. Connacht, last season’s beaten finalists, will be out for revenge when they face Gloucester in Galway on 31 March – the Irish province lost a Challenge Cup quarter-final and a Champions Cup play-off to Gloucester in 2015. In the last Challenge Cup quarter-final of the


weekend, Edinburgh play the Cardiff Blues at Murrayfield. Newcastle Falcons have been one of the surprise packages of this season’s Challenge Cup, playing some excellent rugby on their way to the knockout stages as they achieved a 100 per cent record in all six games. The club’s director of rugby, former England and Lions No.8 Dean Richards, is delighted with his team’s progress which saw them travelling to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, a 3,000-mile journey via Istanbul, to take on Russian side Enisei-STM, an away tie guaranteed to take the players well and truly out of their comfort zones. “The Challenge Cup has been great for us,” he said. “A number of guys have stepped up and we’re delighted with how they have gone as a group. “It has been a learning curve for our players but it has been good and we can look forward to the quarter-final stage now.”

The winners of the four quarter-finals games taking place on Easter Weekend will line up for the semi-finals which are scheduled for the weekend of April 20-22.

European Challenge Cup Quarter-Final Schedule Friday, 30 March, 8pm, BT Sport Pau v Stade Francais Friday, 30 March, 8pm, Sky Sports Newcastle Falcons v Brive Saturday, March 31, 1pm, BT Sport Connacht Rugby v Gloucester Rugby Saturday, March 31, 5.45pm, Sky Sports Edinburgh Rugby v Cardiff Blues
















The best of Saturday February 10, 4.45pm – ITV

Six Nations Rugby: England v Wales The second round of the 2018 Six Nations Championship as Wales travel to take on champions England for this much-anticipated annual fixture. Wales’ last victory against England at this ground was back in 2015 during the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup. looks ahead to the sporting highlights during the month, including some crucial last 16 UEFA Champions League fixtures. Friday February 9 7.45pm Sky Sports Main Event HD

Saturday February 10 5.30pm Sky Sports PL HD

Super League: Wakefield Trinity v Salford Red Devils

Premier League: Manchester City v Leicester City

Super League action from Beaumont Legal Stadium as the Dreadnoughts host the Red Devils.

Manchester City have looked unbeatable at times this season but the Foxes will hope to catch them on a rare off day at the Etihad.

Saturday February 10 4.45pm ITV

Six Nations Rugby: England v Wales

Tuesday February 13, 7.45pm – BT Sport HD

UEFA Champions League: FC Basel v Manchester City Last 16, first round action as Manchester City travel to Switzerland to face FC Basel. It may seem like a favourable draw for City but they will be on guard against the team which pulled off a shock 1-0 defeat over Manchester United in the group stages of this campaign back in November.

Always a huge game for both sides this should be an occasion to savour given the excellent try-scoring record of both teams in recent history. Wales have lost several of their 2017 Lions contingent to injury but have some good young talent to take their places. Saturday February 10 12.30pm BT Sport 1 HD

Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal One of the keenest rivalries in all of sport as the North London derby kicks off at Wembley. There is little separating the teams in the Premier League table which should make for an intense encounter. Saturday February 10 12.30pm Sky Sports Football HD

Friday February 23, 7.45pm – Sky Sports Main Event HD

Super League: Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors The new Super League season continues. It was a disappointing season for both of these teams last time out, Warrington Wolves finishing 9th in the final table and Wigan Warriors squeezing into the Super 8 stage of the competition with a 7th-place finish but failing to make it to the play-offs. Both teams will be looking for marked improvements this time and have a number of new faces in the mix to help them achieve this.

Championship: Millwall v Cardiff City Cardiff City have been flying high in the Sky Bet Championship and will be looking to gain the full points available from this tie against the Londoners who have struggled to make it beyond mid-table for much of the season.

Sunday February 11 2.15pm Sky Sports PL HD

Premier League: Newcastle United v Manchester United A rivalry which has a magnificent history as two of the best supported teams in the country meet at St James’ Park. Sunday February 11 3pm BBC

Six Nations Rugby: Scotland v France Scotland enjoyed a great summer tour and autumn series and are now determined to deliver further evidence of their progress under coach Gregor Townsend during the 2018 Six Nations. Once again, France are something of a mystery package with their brand-new coaching team bringing a number of young players into the mix for the tournament. Monday February 12 8pm Sky Sports PL HD

Premier League: Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion The Baggies look to be heading for a relegation dogfight at the end of this season and are unlikely to gain much comfort from this trip to Stamford Bridge

For latest news and timings on sporting events coming to the club screen, visit 26 CLUB RUGBY

February’s live sport ALSO COMING UP...

Premier League: Newcastle United v Manchester United, Sunday, February 11, 2.15pm, Sky Sports PL HD

Sunday February 11 2.15pm BT Sport 1 HD

Premier League: Huddersfield Town v AFC Bournemouth Wednesday February 14 10am Sky Sports Main Event HD

Tennis: World Tennis Tournament Thursday February 15 7pm Sky Sports Action HD

Premier League Darts Thursday February 15 7.45pm Sky Sports HD Tuesday February 13 6am Sky Sports Cricket HD

Tuesday February 13 7.45pm BT Sport HD

Tuesday February 20 7.45pm BT Sport HD

International Cricket - Tri-Series: New Zealand v England

UEFA Champions League: Last 16, 1st Leg - Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur

UEFA Champions League: Last 16, 1st Leg - Chelsea v Barcelona

They may have lost the Ashes Test series in pretty abject fashion but England are no slouches when it comes to the Twenty20 version of the game and will undoubtedly be competitive in this Tri-Series which will see them in action against both the Black Caps of New Zealand and Australia.

This is Spurs’ first time in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League since the 2010/11 season and they will be eager to have a good run to the latter stages of the tournament with back-to-back wins against the famous Italian club.

Tuesday February 13 7.45pm BT Sport HD

Wednesday February 14 7.45pm BT Sport HD

UEFA Champions League: Last 16, 1st Leg - FC Basel v Manchester City

UEFA Champions League: Last 16, 1st Leg - FC Porto v Liverpool

City fans couldn’t have wished for a more comfortable draw for the Last 16 of the UEFA Champions League and will expect their team to progress against a fairly average Swiss side who finished up as runners-up to Manchester United in Group A ahead of CSKA Moscow and Benfica.

On paper this is a kind draw for Liverpool but Jurgen Klopp will be wary of allowing any complacency to creep into his side’s preparations for this two-leg battle against the FC Porto. The Portuguese side qualified with the fewest points of any of the six clubs Liverpool could have faced and conceded a total of 10 goals during the group stages.

The Blues find themselves with a nightmare draw as they take on one of the aristocrats of Champions League football in Barcelona. Their task will be made all the more arduous given that the second leg will take place at the Nou Camp. On the plus side for the reigning Premier League Champions, Barca superstar Lionel Messi has never scored against Chelsea in his career. Sunday February 25 2.05pm Sky Sports PL HD

Premier League: Manchester United v Chelsea United manager Jose Mourinho will welcome his old team to Old Trafford and will be out to gain revenge for the 1-0 defeat meted out to his side at Stamford Bridge earlier this season. The Blues have given up on their title defence but would love a win here.

Super League: Hull KR v Catalans Dragons Thursday February 15 8.05pm BT Sport HD

UEFA Europa League: Last 32, 1st Leg - Celtic v Zenit St Petersburg Friday February 23 7.45pm Sky Sports HD

Super League: Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors Saturday February 24 12.30pm Sky Sports PL HD

Premier League: Leicester City v Stoke City

For latest news and timings on sporting events coming to the club screen, visit CLUB RUGBY 27

WOMEN’S SIX NATIONS England Women are the reigning Six Nations champions having clinched the Grand Slam in 2017

Red Roses are ready England Women begin their Six Nations title defence against Italy on February 4 in Rome and are determined to put the disappointment of their 2017 World Cup Final defeat against New Zealand behind them as they compete in what is sure to be a very intense Championship campaign.


eigning Six Nations champions England may have secured the Grand Slam in last year’s Championship but they will know that their rivals are better prepared than ever to topple them from their lofty perch. England captain Sarah Hunter knows only too well the magnitude of the task facing her team during their upcoming campaign. “Since the World Cup, teams are probably the most prepared they have ever been,” she said. “Countries are now investing into their women’s teams so we know that each opposition will be a different challenge, regardless of who that is on paper, we’ll take them individually one at a time and do our best to make sure we get the results. “We’re genuinely not even thinking about anyone apart from Italy which is our first game. We owe respect to each nation now, we’ll take one at a time


and focus on them and do the right preparation.” “If we don’t get the first one right then actually it doesn’t matter how tough the opposition are following that, we need to get off to a good start,” said Hunter. Of course, England have a major incentive to lift another trophy given the massive disappointment of their 2017 World Cup campaign which saw the Red Roses fall at the final hurdle against New Zealand. Despite taking a promising 17-5 lead in the final, they ultimately crashed to a 41-32 defeat at the hands of the Black Ferns in Belfast. “I’m not sure the disappointment of that day will ever disappear,” said Hunter. “You can let it keep eating at you or you can get out there refocused and energised to drive the team forward. “We had a great 2017 apart from 40 minutes against New Zealand and I am driven to win the Six

England Women’s Six Nations Schedule Sunday, February 4, 5.30pm, Sky Sports Action/Mix Italy v England Saturday, February 10, 12.15pm, Sky Sports Action/Mix England v Wales Friday, February 23, 7.30pm, Sky Sports Mix /Arena (via red button) Scotland v England Saturday, March 10, 8pm, Sky Sports Action /Mix France v England Friday, March 16, 5.30pm, Sky Sports Action and Sky Sports Mix England v Ireland

Nations as much as I was to win the World Cup final.”


Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our biggest season ever.

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And the winners are... Club Rugby is delighted to present a snapshot of the 2017 Club Awards winners, highlighting the rugby clubs who picked up well-deserved trophies on the night. The night of celebration began with an exclusive Beer Festival, courtesy of long-term sponsor Marston’s Beer Company, complete with our very own Club Awards brew, King of Ales. The annual drinks reception followed, with ales from Marston’s, lagers from sponsor Heineken UK and photo-opportunities provided by BT Sport in the iconic shape of the FA Cup. Then followed the main event – the 2017 Club Awards and Gala Dinner hosted by popular host and Club Awards favourite, TV Sports presenter John Inverdale, who was delighted to welcome clubs to the new Doncaster venue. Thanks to all our sponsors, to everyone who helps make these Awards so special and most of all congratulations to all of our winners, to all of our finalists and to every club who entered. We salute you all! •For more images of the night use this QR code.












The 2017 Club Awards, celebrate all that’s great about UK clubs. And in some style!

John Inverdale

The 2017 event in its new Doncaster Racecourse venue proved an overwhelming success and plaudits have flooded in from those who joined us for the night of celebration and for free racing on the following day. The event began with a Beer Festival courtesy of Marston’s Beer Company, followed by a drinks reception (sponsored by Club Mirror, Heineken UK and Marston’s Beer Company) and a photo opportunity with the iconic FA Cup, courtesy of BT Sport. Then came the main event – the 2017 Club Awards Gala Dinner hosted by TV sports presenter John Inverdale. Our thanks go out to John and also to all our celebrity guests who popped in remotely to join in the celebrations. And finally, thank you to all of our club-supporting sponsors, to all winners, to every finalist and to every club who entered. We salute you all.

Steve Cram CBE

“Congratulations – you really are all winners here tonight.” Sean Ferris

Tessa Sanderson CBE


“Have a great evening. I know you’ll be in safe hands with your host John Inverdale!” 38 CLUB RUGBY

Craig Doyle

2017 CLUB AWARDS SPONSORS A big thank you and shout out to all of our sponsors. Thank you for all that you do to support clubs across the UK.

“Congratulations to you all here tonight, and I look forward to welcoming Club Mirror readers to Rugby Tonight in January. See you there!” Robbie Savage and Darren Fletcher

“Sorry we can’t be with you tonight but good luck to you all!” Clare Balding

“Good luck to you all and for those of you joining Club Mirror at tomorrow’s racing, here’s a tip for you... Back the brown horse!” CLUB RUGBY 39





Burton Rugby Club

Burton Rugby Club is one of the strongest in the area and runs three regular senior teams plus a ladies section and a thriving youth section with the club's Colts side providing several players to the County team. The ambitious club is on the verge of moving to a new 40-acre site, a facility which will also accommodate other sports to the benefit of the whole community. Meanwhile, the club continues to operate on the original site and is doing well in bringing in extra income from private events, including weddings, parties and corporate meetings.

Club Mirrorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sean Ferris (3rd from right) welcomes on stage Northern winners Burton Rugby Club (left) and Southern winners Cheltenham Rugby Club (right).


Cheltenham Rugby Club

The most exciting new project for Cheltenham Rugby Club is currently the construction of a new Artificial Grass Pitch. This comes after selection by the Rugby Football Union and is expected to create 2000 hours of additional access to play sport. Teams include the Tiger Cubs (4-6 year-old girls and boys), Girls (13-15 years), Minis and Youth (7-17 years), Colts, Senior Mens and Senior Ladies. It hosts rugby tournaments, holds pre-Lions and End of Season parties, and even hosts Brownies who are taking sport badges in rugby. The club is an integral part of the community and holds events and fundraisers.



Sports Categories Rugby Clubs of the Year Burton Rugby Club Cheltenham Rugby Club

Golf Clubs of the Year Ravenmeadow & Perdiswell Park Golf Club Dudsbury Golf Club

Cricket Club of the Year St Anneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cricket Club Bowls Clubs of the Year Penn Bowling Club Southbourne Bowls Club Tennis Club of the Year Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis & Squash Club

Royal Porthcawl Golf Club Sports Club of the Year Roehampton Club Football Clubs of the Year Consett AFC Hyde United FC

Congratulations to all 2017 Club Awards winners and finalists 42 CLUB RUGBY

Marketing Club


Northern Football Club “Social media has been very successful,” says David Giles, General Manager. “We have a members’ web site and we’re working on a commercial site.” It was thanks to social media – via Twitter and Facebook – that the club managed to get its girls’ rugby club up and running. It has also proved valuable in promoting events bringing in 120 people to a Jason Isaacs Night. “We then posted pictures of the event afterwards on Facebook and our click rate went up 8,000 percent!” says David. The club also has an online booking system and is booked up for functions 18 months in advance. Northern FC accept their Award from Rob Hart (far left) who presented the trophy on behalf of Heineken UK.





Get 25% o BT Sport

For the rst time ever 5 English clubs are in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages.

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Call 0800 678 1061 25% o BT Sport o er: This o er is available, at BT’s discretion, to new (must not have been a customer in the previous 3 months) BT Sport Commercial customers (Single and Group Premises) who sign up for a 6 or 12-month minimum period for the service on BT Sport Total between 6 February and 21 February 2018 (inclusive). BT will reduce your monthly subscription charges for BT Sport Total by 25% for the minimum period of your contract (6 or 12 months, as applicable). Standard monthly subscription charges will apply thereafter. If you terminate the service during the minimum period, you may incur early termination charges. Your subscription charges will be based on the rateable value of your premises. Please call to con rm your rateable value and BT Sport subscription price. You will be entitled to one free Sky box and standard installation. O er not available in conjunction with any further o ers. This o er is subject to BT’s Agreement for BT Sport – Commercial Premises which can be found at © British Telecommunications plc 2018. We’re registered in England at 81 Newgate Street, London EC1A 7AJ (company number 1800000). All this information/pricing was correct at time of print, 6th February and may change. See our terms and conditions at

Manager/Secretary JOINT WINNER


Alison Hodson, Newport Salop RUFC

Secretary Alison Hodson reports a very successful season for the club across the board after celebrating its 70th anniversary. “Former English rugby player Mike Tindall came along for the celebrations. We had a big event and an end of season ball in a marquee to celebrate our success,” says Alison. A website, Facebook and Twitter keep members and the community in touch with activities, from the club’s annual music festival and bonfire night to sports screening on both BT Sport and Sky Sports. Touch rugby is in place for those wanting to keep fit at any age, and the club is driving a women’s team in 2018. The club caters for a primary school tag tournament, minis on tour (Under 7s with 200 parents attending), a rugby camp and welcomes Sale Sharks who undertake training with junior coaches.

Club Mirror’s Legal Eagle, David Lucas from Fraser Brown Solicitors (far right), congratulates Alex Woodward and Alison Hodson on their exemplary club management.


Alex Woodward, Boyce Hill Golf & Country Club

“At the moment we enjoy a 98% approval rating amongst the membership and the club is a wonderful place to be,” says the club’s Alex Woodward. “Sending everyone away as an ambassador is key to marketing the club. Word of mouth and referrals are important to us.” All members receive a card on their birthday and are kept up to date with latest activities, from Summer Balls to Billingsgate Fish Nights. A key focus is staff empowerment backed up with training, encouraging them to feel that they contribute to the running of the business and keeping members happy. “We are in the happiness business at Boyce Hill Golf & Country Club,” says Alex. “We have really embraced change and everyone is on board with moving the club forward. This has really increased membership in all areas.”



Time to shine 2 0 1 8

Announcing the 2018 Club Awards

The Club Awards recognise the commitment of clubs, committees and individuals who work to ensure a healthy future for their clubs. Could this be your year? It’s time to find out.


f you haven’t entered the Club Awards before, then make sure 2018 is the year that you do. (Just turn to pages 31-71 to see why you should.) And for those of you who already understand the value of the only pan-club awards in the UK, then we look forward to your entry, both old friends and new. The Club Awards Gala Dinner celebrates clubs across the UK and provides the perfect opportunity to meet up with fellow clubs to share ideas and issues while having a lot of fun along the way.

JOIN THE JOURNEY – WHY ENTER? Clubs use their success to: • Raise the club’s profile. • Gain coverage in the local press and media. • Encourage new members. • Thank existing members for their support. • Show that the club is spending members’ money for their benefit. • Celebrate clubland in all its forms with fellow clubs from across the country.

IT COULD BE YOU So, do you think you could be a finalist? Do you have what it takes to beat the best and stand out from the rest? Time to find out. HOW TO ENTER This year following club requests, we have increased the number of ways to enter the Awards. 1. Traditional – fill in the form opposite and request a call from one of our judges. 2. New this year – fill in the form and opposite and request a self-entry form which you can complete at the club and send in to our judges. We look forward to your entry!


HOW TO ENTER Please tick preferred option

n I would like one of the Club Awards judges to contact me to discuss the club. OR

n I would like to complete a self-entry form on behalf of the club. Please send me a form. Which categories would you like to be considered for? (Please tick as many/few boxes as you wish).

n Bar Manager/Bar Steward of the Year (Q)

n Green Club of the Year (AG)

n Bowls Club of the Year (S)

n Innovative Club of the Year (AI)

n Business Initiative of the Year (R) n CAMRA Club of the Year (T)

n Catering Club of the Year (U)

n Catering Club of the Year – Golf (V) n Charity Club of the Year (W) n Committee of the Year (X)

n Community Club of the Year (Y) n Cricket Club of the Year (Z) n Darts Club of the Year (AA)

n Entertainment Club of the Year (AB) n Family Club of the Year (AC)

n Football Club of the Year (AD)

n Grounds Team of the Year (AH)

n Manager/Secretary of the Year (AJ) n Marketing Club of the Year (AK)

n Membership Club of the Year (AL) n Racing Club of the Year (AM)

n Refurbishment Club of the Year (AN) n Rugby Club of the Year (AO)

n Sports Club of the Year (AP)

n Sports and Social Club of the Year (AQ) n Tennis Club of the Year (AR)

n Traditional Club of the Year (AS)

n Turnaround Club of the Year (AT)

n Golf Club of the Year – under £1m turnover (AE) n Website of the Year (AU) n Golf Club of the Year – over £1m turnover (AF)

n King of Clubs (AW)



Job title:





____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________

Postcode: ____________________________________________________________ Tel:




CONTACT THE CLUB AWARDS TEAM: BY POST: Club Awards, Club Mirror, Gainsborough House, 59-60 Thames Street, Windsor SL4 1TX ONLINE: BY EMAIL: Email your details to BY PHONE: Call in your details to 01753 272022 BY FAX: Fax this page to 01753 272021 OR USE THIS QR CODE




New Year New You? Keep it real is the advice – and be gentle on yourself. Also: with Facebook and social media now key communication mechanisms for clubs, just what are the constraints surrounding sharing pictures of your team and members? HQ looks at what the law has to say. Meanwhile, attracting the social media-adept millenials is ever more important. So just what pushes their buttons? A new Consumer Insights Report may offer some clues.

New year, new you? While many of us will have launched into 2018 with ambitious New Year’s resolutions they’re almost guaranteed to fail, according to the experts.


early all of us make the same mistake when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, one that practically guarantees we’ll fail miserably. Sadly, it’s not just New Year’s resolutions that we blow. Anytime we try to change our behaviour, we make the same disastrous mistake. In the time it takes you to read this, you’ll learn a strategy that you can use to reach any goal or to change any habit. Even the biggest goals, like stopping smoking and getting out of debt, are achievable with this approach. So, what’s this huge mistake we make when we set goals or try to change a bad habit? We expect to succeed. We have no contingency plan when we fall by the wayside. When we inevitably come up short – the stats are bleak when it comes to sticking with New Year’s resolutions – we have nothing to do but revert to our old behaviour. Your biggest goals require the biggest changes, the greatest commitments, the most effort and willpower. Those pounds aren’t going to lose themselves; your debt isn’t going away on its own; and the business you want to run isn’t going to start itself. These are massive undertakings that require a great deal of personal fortitude. The effort required to succeed can seem overwhelming, so much so that you might relent. You ditch your diet and eat the brownie. You forgo your budget and buy the shoes. You talk yourself out of business ownership and turn on the TV. The good news is that one misstep doesn’t have to derail you if you use the One Day, One Week, One Month Strategy. Here’s what you do:

One Week If you survive the first day –and you will – all you need to do is focus on surviving six more days. That’s it. You can do anything for a week, and you’ve already made it through the first day.

One Day It doesn’t matter that the book you want to write will take you two years and lots of late nights to complete. It doesn’t matter that the 50 pounds you need

One Month Congratulations! You made it a week. The desire to revert back to old behaviours is strong, but you’ve already gone a whole week. What’s another couple


to lose will take 12 months of sweat and sacrifice to drop. The hard work? The long hours? None of it matters. The only thing you should focus on is one day. That’s it. Surely you can stick to a diet for one day, right? Of course you can follow your budget for one day. It’s just one day. Get over your excuses. Get over the anxiety. You can do anything for a day.

of weeks to make it a month? If at the end of the month you decide it’s not worth it, tell yourself you’ll stop, but give yourself a month. What happens if you falter? As the old saying goes, if you fall down one step, don’t throw yourself down the whole staircase. If on day four you completely blow it, you simply start over. The next morning, you only focus on getting through one day. Then you take another shot at getting through a week, and you will because it will be much easier the second time. If on week three you crack. No problem. The next morning you simply focus on getting through one day. Then one week. Then take another run at one month. You can do this over and over and over again until you succeed. And when it comes to New Year’s resolutions? Well you just may need to try a few times before you succeed!

Picture imperfect With images flying around social media every second of the day, just what are the constraints on sharing pictures? Sarah Garner, solicitor at DAS Law provides the answers. If photos and/or videos are taken without my knowledge or consent, who owns the images? The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 provides that the author of a photograph is the person who creates it. The person who takes the photograph/video will own the copyright unless the photo/video was created by a person in the course of their employment. In this case the copyright will be owned by the employer. Can I have photos removed from social media or stop them being shared? In UK law there is generally no right to privacy where an image/video is taken in a public place. In a case involving Naomi Campbell, the court determined that the publication of photographs taken in

public would only be prevented if they were obviously private, or were offensive in some other way. This would include a person being caused humiliation or severe embarrassment. Most social media companies have policies in place that although the creator of the photo/video is the owner, once they are uploaded you are granting a licence to that social media company to use or allow others to use that photo/video. Due to the lack of privacy laws the courts are generally relying upon decisions in previous cases for their findings. Publication of photographs can be prevented if they were commissioned to be taken but were then used for an unauthorised purpose. The author of the photo/video would need to delete the photo/video from their social media account for it to be removed. However, if the

photo/video has been shared by another user it is unlikely that it can be removed. Can I insist they are permanently deleted and how do I go about this? Being able to get photos/videos removed from social media is highly unlikely especially if the photo/video has already been viewed/shared. The legal recourses available to prevent or remove photos/videos are a court injunction, a court order for return or destruction, or damages by way of financial compensation. Most social media companies will block or remove photos/videos that breach their policies regarding containing offensive material or images but this would be at the discretion of the particular social media company. You can however report any image or video for them to consider if it breaches their policies.

Consumer Insights Report The third edition of Carlsberg UK’s Consumer Insights Report published in December, examines the evolving landscape of hospitality and analyses the ‘millennial’ demographic.


n important consumer group for operators, 18-35 year olds are commonly referred to as millennials. The term describes over 14m people, however, so the report delves deeper into this classification and reveals the importance of recognising the factions within this broad definition. Whilst the millennials as a mass identity have behaviours and attitudes in common, the report takes a segmented approach and identifies fundamental differences in consumption habits between 18-25 and 26-35 year olds, examining what this means for the out-of-home market. Experiences have become increasingly important and equally so, sharing them on social media. Creating ‘shareable’ moments remains vital for operators in an ever-competitive market, says the report. The report’s analysis of social media trends has flagged the increased appetite for experiences throughout the week and on atypical days, such as ‘SundayFunday’ business growing by 55% over the last three years. Created to inspire bar operators across the country, the report also explores a number of key themes, including premiumisation, the demand for quality experiences, health and moderation and technology.

Premiumisation The report concludes that the treat economy megatrend of recent years shows no signs of abating and as a result while visits may be fewer (this is specifically related to pubs) when consumers are on the premises, they are looking for premium choices, experiences and serves, with the average spend per head up 3%. Experiences The consumer search for experiences continues to drive the leisure and hospitality market and the report’s findings support this with half of participants stating they feel a need to find new experiences to enjoy during their leisure time. Health and moderation The report has found that 50% of the population moderate alcohol in order to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Many other leisure sub-sectors are winning consumers over, with 26-35 year olds now more likely to visit the gym than the pub. Technology Technology continues to affect consumer habits with factors such as a strong online presence, online booking facilities and free WiFi scoring highest amongst participants.

Alongside these themes, this year’s report has been developed to showcase the biggest opportunities for the on-trade. Presenting the importance of getting the traditional social occasion right, the report also reveals several ‘wants’ from different demographics including cocktail masterclasses, opening early for breakfast, community meetings and coffee mornings. The importance of beer and food matching (particularly in food-led pubs) has been championed by consumers, who have revealed that they’re looking for a more comprehensive offering when eating out. The research indicates that, half of consumers would be interested in recommendations for the perfect brew to pair with their food choice. This rises to 67% amongst 26-35 year olds, who are the most engaged with pairing. Alistair Gaunt, VP Nationals Sales at Carlsberg UK, said: “This report provides meaningful insights into consumer habits, the rise of consumer expectations and the evolving way we need to approach our definitions of consumer groups. For instance, the findings from the report have shown that by using one simple descriptor of ‘millennial’ for such a wide, and profitable, collective of people operators can really be missing a trick.” •





Want to cut club spend while increasing efficiencies? Well now you can. Introducing HQ Building the Business. Completely free to clubs this new service involves no contracts and no costs, just better buying and better club business.

Welcome to HQ Building the Business F

rom utilities and energy savings to procurement and financial services, HQ Building the Business works with your club as a surrogate head office, helping you to boost club business. And by working with carefully selected club-supporting partners and suppliers, HQ Building the Business will save you valuable time and resources in the quest to save your club money, freeing up you and your committee to run an even more efficient club. You’re just three steps away from saving money.

Step 1 Free no-obligation audit – just call us or email us.

Step 2 Following our audit and discussions, if we believe we can help your club we will source the best deals available.

Frequently Asked Questions Q. What do I get when I become a member? A: You get a free and confidential audit of your club in those areas where you would like to find savings and efficiencies. This could be anything from utilities to phone bills and from food to club equipment. Q. What are the costs? A. There are no costs. HQ is free to join. Q. If I become a member, what are my obligations? A. There are no obligations for you or your club and no contracts. All we ask is that when we work with you, you are open about your current supplier situation.

suppliers we need to prove the value of a club to their business, but if we can help we will. Q. What are your club credentials? A. We’ve been working in the club sector for over 30 years in various roles. The launch of HQ Building the Business is the culmination of many years working with clubs and suppliers, from brewers and telecoms suppliers, to energy and water companies. Q. Do I need a face to face meeting? A. Not necessarily. A lot of the ground work can be done over the phone/email. Q. How do I become a member? A. Just email, call 01753 272022 or use the form on the opposite page.

Q. Does the club need to have a minimum turnover? A. Our services are most suited to clubs with a minimum turnover of £100,000. This is because to secure the HQ Building the Business deals with

Step 3 Your club starts saving money. This is what we call a win win! So get in touch now and help us help you to make 2017 an even better year for your club and your members. You can call on 01753 272022, email or use the form opposite.

Ryan Bezuidenhout, General Manager of Aviva Premiership Rugby contender, Worcester Warriors “My role is very much to ensure that the support mechanisms of an efficient stadium and business are in place. I’ve worked with David and his team to assist in delivering savings across the business at Worcester Warriors and I am delighted to recommend the team on a professional as well as personal level.  Energy has been one of the biggest projects, and this procurement is delivering significant short and long term savings. There are plenty of people out there who claim they can do this; this team can. A large part of my role is about getting things done efficiently and effectively, hence why I value the straight talking, efficient and short sharp presentation of results. No fuss, no salesmanship, just a host of opportunities followed up by appropriate and helpful assistance to deliver the chosen projects; make the most of them.” •


MEMBERSHIP FORM Yes I am interested in joining the no-cost, no-contract, no obligation HQ Building the Business club. Your name: _____________________________________


Role in club: _____________________________________ Club name and address: _____________________________ _____________________________________________ _____________________________________________ Tel no: ________________________________________ Email: _________________________________________ Number of members: ______________________________ Turnover*:______________________________________

n All n Other (please list): _____________________________

Particular areas you are interested in?


*Turnover - this information is entirely confidential and is not shared with any other companies/agencies etc. It is HQ Building the Businessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s measure as to how we can help you save money.





Club Rugby readers and their members can take advantage of discounted raceday tickets with our new Racing Club. To enjoy a our specially negotiated rates simply select your dates and send in the booking form.


rom flat racing to jumps, racedays are a great day out for members. Now you can make them even more enjoyable thanks to our specially negotiated club-only prices. HOW TO BOOK 1. Choose your raceday as listed on these pages. 2. Write a cheque for the correct amount made out to the racecourse. 3. Send the booking form and cheque made payable to the relevant racecourse to: Club Mirror Racing Club, ACP, 59/60 Thames Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1TX. 4. Deadline – please send the booking form and cheque at least four weeks in advance of the raceday. Tickets will be sent out once the cheques have been processed by the racecourse.

DONCASTER RACECOURSE – FREE TICKETS Attendees at the 2018 Club Awards and Gala Dinner will receive complimentary tickets to Doncaster races the day after the Awards. Turn to page 46 to enter.


Did you know? In 1948 a 12 year-old boy rode his first winner at Haydock Park. That same jockey rode his final winner here too, 46 years later. His name? Lester Piggott. WETHERBY Last year 2,500 club people attended Wetherby Races at an event run and organised by the Club & Institute Union (CIU). The Union has its own race alongside Club Awards sponsors Dransfields – the Dransfields CIU Charity Raceday Handicap Hurdle. CHEPSTOW Chepstow offers over 30 fixtures each year. The picturesque course combines both flat and jump racing with highlights including October’s Jumps Festival and December’s Welsh Grand National. The lefthanded undulating course is a circuit of just under two miles (3,200 m) with a finishing straight of five furlongs (3,300 ft; 1,000 m), five fences on the chase course and 11 fences on a complete circuit. • Wed, 21 March: Winter Racing – £15 • Mon, 2 April: Easter Monday Family Race Day – £15 • Sat, 14 April: Grand National Party Race Day – £15 • Fri, 27 April: Spring Evening Racing – £15 • Fri, 4 May: Spring Afternoon Flat Racing – £15 • Tues, 15 May: Spring Evening Racing – £15 Did you know? At a two-day meeting in 1933 Gordon Richards rode into the record books by partnering the winners of 11 consecutive Chepstow races.

HAYDOCK PARK Situated equidistant between Liverpool and Manchester, Haydock Park is one of the finest viewing courses in Britain. Racing under both codes is of a very high standard and is well regarded by trainers looking to educate their younger horses. • Wed, 21 March: (County) Jump Racing – £10 • Sat, 31 March: (Grandstand & Paddock) Jump Racing – £9 • Sat, 28 April: (Grandstand & Paddock) Flat Racing – £12.50 • Sat, 12 May: (Grandstand & Paddock) Flat & Jump Racing – £12.50 • Fri, 25 May: (County) Flat Racing – £10 • Sat, 26 May: (Grandstand & Paddock) Flat Racing – £12.50 • Thurs, 7 June: (County) 188BET Raceday – £10 • Wed, 13 June: (County) 188BET Construction Day – £10

• November: (date to be announced). CIU Annual Charity Raceday

Did you know? The Romans began the Wetherby story racing Arab horses at a place called Netherby, a few miles upstream from the existing course.

Club Rugby Racing Club Booking Form DONCASTER Doncaster Racecourse, venue for this year’s Club Awards, hosts two of Great Britain's 31 Group 1 flat races, the St Leger Stakes – the world’s oldest classic horse race – and the Racing Post Trophy. The course has the distinction of both starting and ending the flat season on turf. • Wed, 21 Feb: (Grandstand Enclosure) Winter Jump Racing – £8 • Fri, 2 March: (Grandstand Enclosure) Grimthorpe Chase Festival – £8 • Sat, 3 March: Grandstand Enclosure) Grimthorpe Chase Festival – £9 • Sat, 5 May £9: (Grandstand Enclosure) Spring Evening Flat Racing – £9 • Sat, 2 June: £9 (Grandstand Enclosure) Derby Day – £9 Did you know? Doncaster is one of the oldest established centres for horse racing in Britain, with records of regular race meetings going back to the 16th century. In 1600 the corporation tried to put an end to the races because of the number of ruffians they attracted, but by 1614 it acknowledged failure and instead marked out a racecourse.

Number of tickets required (minimum 6) __________

Price per ticket £______

Racecourse: ___________________________________________________________________ Date of meeting: _______________________________________________________________ Cheque enclosed ( and made payable to the racecourse) for £________ Contact and club name: __________________________________________________________ Club address: __________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ Postcode: ___________________ Daytime telephone number: _______________________________________________________ Email address: _________________________________________________________________ Please send this booking form plus cheque (made payable to the relevant racecourse) no later than four weeks before the meeting date to: Club Rugby Racing Club, ACP, 59-60 Thames Street, Windsor SL4 1TX



A portfolio that includes the

top 2 cask ale drinks * brandS in 2016

Wainwright number 1 cask ale brand in 2016*

Pedigree number 2 cask ale brand in 2016*

• 3 beers in the Top 100 Drinks List*

• Consumers want to see these beers on the bar • 3 great new looks

*The MA Drinks List: Top 100 Brands

Shipyard number 2 craft beer brand in 2016*

For more quality brands & services to drive your business, call Marston’s on 0800 587 0773


A word with Club Insure’s Broking Director Steve Fleming recently celebrated his 15 year anniversary with Club Insure. With 25 years’ experience in the industry, the Broking Director shares his thoughts on the industry in general and the future of the late night leisure and hospitality trade.


stablished in 1998, Club Insure (formerly NDML) are considered to be the Premier Insurance Broker for the late night leisure and hospitality industry. We provide comprehensive insurance for all manner of late night leisure and associated businesses, currently dealing with over 3,000 sports, social and WMCs and growing every day. In a society that is heavily influenced by the “no win, no fee” culture, it is ever more important that companies trading in the leisure industry have adequate cover for all aspects of their business. Unfortunately, due to the diverse trading styles and activities of the industry, both physical and legal risks are probable as the general public become more aware of their rights. Club Insure are fully aware of the litigious culture and thus offer bespoke, tailor-made policies specifically designed to meet the individual requirements of our various clients. We boast being able to place an inexhaustive list of insurance needs, many of which are exclusive products unattainable through any other broker in the UK. Awards Following on from our successes in 2015 where we won Schemes Broker of the Year, UK Broker Awards,  Commercial Broker of the Year  at the Commercial Insurance Awards and Modern Claims Awards and the  UK Claims Excellence Award  for  Customer Care Initiative  we have in 2017 so far been Highly Commended as  Broker Team of the Year at the Modern Claims Awards and we have won Claims Training Initiative at the Insurance Times Claims Excellence Awards. The awards highlighted the level of service provided by Club Insure; our employees were recognised for their professionalism, knowledge and experience. The challenges Whilst Club Insure continues to grow its client base in terms of numbers, it is clear that the turnover in venues and operators around the country is relatively high; much of our time is spent keeping abreast of which venues are opening/closing or changing hands. As with all industries the insurance market is highly competitive but often that competition

comes from brokers or insurers who are inexperienced in or unsuited for the late licensed leisure trade. Whilst it might be easier for clubs to seek advice on their insurance through online facilities or high street brokers, I’m often finding they are under insured or inadequately covered; this is incredibly dangerous in such a litigious society and can be detrimental to their business in the event of a claim. It is imperative that operators seek professional, honest advice from brokers who are both experienced and operate with integrity. The cheapest quote initially often turns into the most expensive in the long term. Club Insure’s position As the official broker to the Association of Conservative Clubs, National Union of Liberal Clubs, National Union of Labour & Socialists Clubs & CISWO, Club Insure are constantly seeking innovative risk management techniques and working practices. We take a strong stand on spurious liability claims and work with the client’s best interest at heart. We understand our clients’ insurance and risk management requirements. We have worked over this period to develop our products to accommodate the ever changing needs and demands of our clients with our products ranging from property and liability cover for traditional bars and clubs, to event cancellation insurance for overseas dance festivals. As well as experienced insurance specialists, Club Insure provide in-house account handlers and

award winning claims managers, which allows for constant communication between us and our customers. The ethos behind our company remains the same; a customer focused specialist insurance broker which prides itself on an ability to provide lasting and effective products to our range of clients.

MORE INFORMATION Club Insure covers all aspects of club insurance from start to finish, with Account Handlers and Claims Managers under one roof. Contact the company for: • Health & Safety Audits • Risk Assessments • Manual Handling Assessments • COSHH Assessments • Fire Risk Assessments • Fire Safety • Method Statements • Staff Handbooks Victoria Romero-Trigo, Director Club Insure Ltd Romero House, 8 Airport West, Lancaster Way, Yeadon, Leeds LS19 7ZA e. t. 0844 488 9204




Gauging the impact of Apple’s IOS update Apple’s software updates have caused much debate in the media industry recently. The recent IOS 11 update has introduced a new feature known as Intelligent Tracking Prevention. Larrytech explores the impact it may have on the digital industry.


he new feature introduced by Apple aims to reduce cross-site tracking by further limiting third-party cookies and other website data. Machine learning is used to identify trackers, segregate cross-site scripting data and stop users from being tracked by third parties and therefore preventing many re-targeting ads. Sam Vining, iCrossing, head of data and analytics, explains how the technology works: “The 24hour exemption period from cookie partitioning is designed to enable scenarios where users may use their log-in information from one domain on another website or service. “After 30 days (without a subsequent interaction) the cookies will be purged completely from the user’s device. What this means is the cookies that advertisers rely on for measurement will be unavailable after 30 days, and cookies for targeting and re-targeting in media will be unavailable after 24 hours.” Personalisation is at risk We talk a lot about personalisation, and how critical it is for user experience in the media industry. So, with a change in standards for cookies how will digital companies innovate to build content, services and ads that are personalised for users and remember their visits? In the US alone Safari accounts for over 50% of the mobile web browsing market, according to Statista. Apple’s response Apple argues that people have the right to privacy. In a statement they said: “Ad tracking has become so pervasive that it is possible for ad tracking companies to re-create the majority of a person’s web browsing history. This information is collected without permission and is used for ad re-targeting, which is how ads follow people around the internet.” In terms of Intelligent Tracking Prevention, Apple states ‘it does not block ads or interfere with legitimate tracking on the sites that people actually click on and visit. Cookies for sites that you interact with function as designed, and ads placed by web publishers, will appear normally’.


What does this mean in practise? 0 – 1 day: When a user visits a website deemed as a first-party domain, (top domain) Intelligent Tracking Prevention sees this as a signal that the user is interested in the website. For the first 24 hours, the cookies can be used in a 3rd-party context. 1 – 30 days: Cookies can’t be used in a 3rd-party context. If the user hasn’t interacted with the website in the last 24 hours, the cookies will be kept but they’ll be partitioned. This allows the users to stay logged in even if they only visit occasionally, but blocks cookies being used for cross-site tracking. 30 days +: After 30 days, the cookies will be purged.

What do you make of this feature – either as the club’s webmaster or as a user? Do you agree with cookie restrictions changing? Answers on a postcard please – or better still on an email! – to

MORE INFORMATION If your bounce rate is high and you are unsure what you can do to combat the problem contact Larryetch via contact. Alternatively use this QR code. Larrytech Ltd, 44 Newton Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1RU



Theft – it isn’t always a stranger Theft by an employee or club official is, thankfully, relatively rare but nonetheless we see a number of these claims every year. These crimes are particularly upsetting as they are often committed by people considered to be close friends. Discovering that money or stock is missing often comes as a massive shock, says Andy Kitchener Aon UK Limited.


e all think we are reasonable judges of character and these situations often leave you questioning your own judgement and wondering how you could be so wrong. Of course, these matters can be extremely delicate in that they affect personalities within the club so care needs to be taken. From an insurance perspective, what should you do if you suspect internal theft is going on? 1. You should always contact the police in the first instance. 2. You should then contact your insurance broker to report the claim. 3. You should then call your insurer’s legal expenses team to again report the incident and obtain any advice from them regarding disciplinary action to be taken against the employee/official. Fidelity Guarantee insurance is a policy designed to cover you for the loss caused by fraud, theft or dishonesty of an employee. For an insurer to ensure claims are paid promptly and without incident then you will need to comply with all conditions of your insurance policy. No matter who provides your club insurance there will be conditions attached and these can change over time so should be reviewed each year. Making the small print BIG print so to speak. As you renew your policy it is a good time to speak to your broker or your insurer to make sure you are aware of any changes that impact your policy. It is important to realise that Fidelity Guarantee cover is on a claims made basis meaning the policy

in force at the time any theft is first discovered is the policy that will deal with the claim. You can usually include monies stolen fraudulently in the preceding 24 months within that claim even if you were with a different insurer during that time. We thought it would be useful to highlight some typical conditions which may appear in policy wording. You should of course refer to your own club’s policy wording for a definitive guide. There will be special conditions which make you aware of the checks and systems you should have in place. If you aren’t operating in this way then the claim could be repudiated. For example, one of the most common reason a claim can be rejected is when a club have failed to get adequate written references for employees or officers. Typical conditions include: • When you discover any act which may give rise to a claim you should immediately take steps to prevent further loss. • Before engaging any employee or club officers a satisfactory written reference should be obtained covering their previous employment. This may need to be produced in the event of a claim. With some club insurance policies, you may only need to obtain references for new employees taken on after the policy starts. But for most insurers you’ll need to have references for everyone. As ever you should always clarify this with your broker or insurer. • There could be a stipulation that money is handed to an authorised employee or banked within a specified time frame, e.g. 24 hours or within

three days of receipt. • Cash book entries and other records of money received should be fully checked on a regular basis. This is often stipulated as every month at least. • Often there is a condition that stock should be independently and physically checked at least annually. You should be aware of some of these conditions before a claim is made rather than afterwards when it may be too late. It is important to make sure that you understand your obligations and discuss them with your broker if necessary.

CONTACT DETAILS If you have any questions about this article contact Andy Kitchener, Regional Client Manager, Aon UK Limited.?t. 07714 180 551 e. Aon UK Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Whilst care has been taken in the production of this article and the information contained within it has been obtained from sources that Aon UK Limited believes to be reliable, Aon UK Limited does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any purpose of the article or any part of it and can accept no liability for any loss incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may rely on it.  In any case any recipient shall be entirely responsible for the use to which it puts this article. This article has been compiled using information available to us up to 24 October 2017.




Keeping members on-side and on the club site The competitive nature of the online world means that functioning websites cannot allow for any mistakes. If you want to keep your members using the club site – and passing it on to friends – then it’s time to take stock, advise the folk at Larrytech.


istakes on your website usually result in a high percentage of your traffic ‘bouncing’ away quicker than they arrive. Below we look at the main problems from a user’s perspective. 1. Your site is non-responsive The implementation of the ‘Mobilegeddon’ in April last year meant that non-responsive websites should now be considered a thing of the past. With two in three adults using a smartphone to browse the internet, this means accessibility is everything. Non-responsive websites aren’t easy to navigate, people don’t know where to click or how to find something if they cannot see the entire site within their screen. If a user is having to pinch and zoom (which we know they’ll eventually get tired of) they are likely to click away and find a website that IS responsive. 2. Outdated website design If your website is aging, it’s definitely time for a refresh; 85% of your visitors judge your website within the first 10 seconds of landing on it. If your website is outdated and not aesthetically pleasing why would they stay on it? Users are looking for something modern and fresh. In website design, designs are consistently evolving and you can never consider your design ahead of the pack. 3. Unclear navigation structure In essence, entering a website can be seen as a journey; you have to navigate your way around the site to get to where you want to be. Therefore, when designing and developing your site, you need to consider if your user can get to where they want to be straight away and with ease. 4. No ‘About Us’ page If your website has got through the first hurdle of engaging users, many will navigate towards the ‘about us’ page to find out a bit more about you. An ‘about’ page is an effective tool for selling the club and helping prospective members get excited enough to join. 5. Poor content Poor content is something we see all too often, if


your content isn't compelling why would users stay on your website? Poor content can be anything from a lack of content to content that simply doesn’t suit the club’s ‘persona’ and message. 6. Content is hard to read Content font size and colouring is flexible. However, your font type and colour need to compliment your website design. The clearer your text is to read the more likely people are to stick around on your website. It’s about a clear typeface that is easy on the eye and can appeal in the right way to reflect the club. Choice of colour can also play a part, depending on the tint of your background. 7. Too many ads Extensive use of pop-up adverts is enough to get on anyone’s nerves. Although many well-known sites use pop-ups, people do get frustrated with these as it prevents their reason of action when clicking through to a site. If you use a range of adverts, it may be time for a re-think as this is a significant cause of users moving away from a website. 8. Slow loading pages Arguably one of the biggest problems in outdated websites is slow loading websites. Your website can be aesthetically pleasing, with a great balance of good quality content, but if it takes longer than four seconds to load, users will quickly move away from

it. Page speed is a significant factor in a user’s decision to stay or leave a website page. 9. Lack of personality Every club needs a ‘personality’ in order to stand out from the crowd. This needs to be replicated throughout the website. 10. Broken links When a user navigates around your website they will get frustrated when they click on a call to action and the page that they are trying to access has an error message. This is not only hindering user experience it also damages your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) performance. Broken links happen as a result of page title changes or perhaps if a page is deleted but certain content still internally links to that specific page. As always there’s a solution to everything –knowing what the problem is in the first place is half the battle!

MORE INFORMATION If your bounce rate is high and you are unsure what you can do to combat the problem contact Larryetch via contact. Alternatively use this QR code. Larrytech Ltd, 44 Newton Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1RU



Social media in the workplace Social media is an immense power when it comes to reaching out to members. But it is also a power which needs to be carefully harnessed. ACAS explores the issues and offers guidelines for employers and employees on establishing and implementing a social media policy.


ocial media can affect communications among managers, employees and even job applicants. It can promote and control their reputation and affect how colleagues treat one another. It can also distort what boundaries there are between home and work, however. Some estimates report that misuse of the Internet and social media by workers costs Britain’s economy, for example, billions of pounds every year. Reports also add that many employers are already grappling with issues like time theft, defamation, cyber bullying, freedom of speech and the invasion of privacy. Legal considerations • The Human Rights Act 1998 Article 8 gives a ‘right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence’. Case law suggests that employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the workplace. • The Data Protection Act 1988 This covers how information about employees and job applicants can be collected, handled and used. The Information Commissioner’s Office has published an employment practices code – Information Commissioner’s Office: Quick guide to the employment practices code [PDF, 168kb] – to help employers comply with the law. • The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 This covers the extent to which organisations can use covert surveillance. Developing a policy Employers should develop a policy setting out what is and what is not acceptable behaviour at work when using the Internet, emails, smart phones, and networking websites. The policy should also give clear guidelines for employees on what they can and cannot say about the organisation. Any policy should be clear throughout about the distinction between business and private use of social media. If it allows limited private use in the workplace, it should be clear what this means in practice. In working out a policy for use of social media, the employer, staff and unions or staff reps (if there are any) should agree the details. The policy should aim to ensure that employees do not feel gagged, staff and managers feel protected against online bullying and the organisation feels confident its reputation will be guarded. Disciplinary procedures An employer should try to apply the same standards of conduct in online matters as it would in offline issues.

If an employee is representing the company online, set appropriate rules for what information they may disclose and the range of opinions they may express. Bring to their attention relevant legislation on copyright and public interest disclosure.

To help an organisation respond reasonably, the employer should consider the nature of the comments made and their likely impact on the organisation. It would help if the employer gives examples of what might be classed as ‘defamation’ and the penalties it would impose. The employer should also be clear in outlining what is regarded as confidential in the organisation. Blogging and tweeting If an employee is representing the company online, set appropriate rules for what information they may disclose and the range of opinions they may express. Bring to their attention relevant legislation on copyright and public interest disclosure. Some rules should be included on the use of social media in recruitment, which managers and employees should follow. When recruiting, employers should be careful if assessing applicants by looking at their social networking pages – this can be discriminatory and unfair. Update other policies To reflect the impact of social media, it should be

referred to in other areas of the business. For example, an organisation’s policy on bullying should include references to ‘cyber bullying’. Employers should inform and consult with their employees if planning to monitor social media activity affecting the workplace.  Action for employees Employees should regularly check the privacy settings on their social networking sites. They should consider whether they want or need co-workers to see their profiles. • For more information visit

STOP PRESS How well does your club employ Social Media to reach out to members? Is it an essential marketing and messaging tool? Then enter your club into the 2018 Social Media Awards. See opposite page for details or visit



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The Show is uniquely aimed at trade-only buyers of coffee, tea, soft drink European Coffee Expo is actively supported by key industry buyers on our thousands of senior visitors exhibitors will meet at the show It is located at London’s premier venue, Olympia - guaranteed to attract m A unique VIP visitor programme providing top buyers - a wealth of poten An unrivalled education programme including inspirational conference se A great return on investment. A great leap in sales. A great boost to profit

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The new trade-only coffee event 100% dedicated to the business of coffee, tea, soft drinks and related products. It’s the talk of the industry.





Go to the new leading business event for the coffee, tea and beverage industry - where the real buyers are going Exhibitors are flocking to European Coffee Expo and here are just a few of the reasons why: • • • • • •

The Show is uniquely aimed at trade-only buyers of coffee, tea, soft drinks and related products. NO TIME-WASTERS. Exhibitor money well invested European Coffee Expo is actively supported by key industry buyers on our Steering Panel who alone control over 8,500 outlets and reflect the many thousands of senior visitors exhibitors will meet at the show It is located at London’s premier venue, Olympia - guaranteed to attract more visitors than any other show A unique VIP visitor programme providing top buyers - a wealth of potential customers - with irresistible reasons to visit An unrivalled education programme including inspirational conference sessions, demonstrations and taste challenges no senior buyer can ignore A great return on investment. A great leap in sales. A great boost to profits. European Coffee Expo. It’s where thousands of buyers will be. It’s where you should be too. But hurry. Stands are selling fast. To secure your stand, contact Sukhvir Hayre on +44 (0) 203 668 9809 or email






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Aon Risk Solutions Enterprise | Affinity

Aon Specialist Insurance for Sports and Social Clubs Market-leading cover with 10%* discount for new Aon clients At Aon, we have specialised in arranging insurance for Sports and Social Clubs for over twenty years. Our client managers have an in-depth understanding of the risks that owners and managers of clubs face, and can arrange a policy that caters to a wide range of clubs. Call us today and we will look to save costs on the price of your current insurance provider by 10%.* Why arrange your Sports and Social club insurance through Aon? • We are confident that we can deliver competitive premiums • Dedicated Client Manager to support you

£100 Material Damage Excess

£2,500 for cover in each gaming machine, up to £10,000 in total Total cover £10,000

Property in the open covered up to £5,000

Engineering cover up to £1,000,000, cooling equipment, boilers, air conditioning units

John Mckie 0345 004 0515

• Arrange market leading cover solutions • Get access to exclusive HR and Health & Safety Solutions for Clubs at discounted rates via our partnership with Citation

To arrange a quote contact:

Directors and Officers limit of indemnity £250,000

* New Aon clients only. Must not hold a current policy with Aon. Subject to qualifying criteria; No claims in the last 3 years; Satisfactory postcode check (such as but not limited to high risk flooding areas, theft and malicious damage); Insurance has not been cancelled or declined in the past; Premises are not unoccupied or unfurnished; Business description is a CIU Club, Other Social & Welfare Club, CISWO Club or Sports Club; Buildings are valued at no more than £1,000,000; Stock limit doesn’t exceed £50,000; and do not operate door staff, regular ticketed events or live entertainment more than twice a week. Evidence of competing terms must be obtained from an Insurer that meet Aon’s security rating requirements and cover must be of a comparable basis to the quotation arranged by Aon. This offer can be withdrawn at any time. Terms, conditions and exclusions may apply. Maven Sports and Social Club Insurance arranged by Aon UK Limited and underwritten by Maven Underwriters which is a Managing General Agent operating under a delegated underwriting and claims handling authority on behalf of Aviva Insurance Limited and Allianz Insurance plc. Maven Underwriters is a trading name of Aon UK Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Citation Limited is an approved Introducer Appointed Representative of Aon UK Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FP.ENT.1784.MH

Monday – Friday 9am - 5pm

Clubrugby issue 11 final  
Clubrugby issue 11 final