Last updated on September 26th, 2023 at 07:37 PM
With England’s stars flying high off a substantial 71-0 victory over Chile at the Rugby World Cup in France and eyes firmly set on lifting the famous Webb Ellis Cup, England’s amateurs have their own World Cup battle on their hands.
Running alongside the professional tournament is the Mondial Amateur World Cup, bringing together 16 amateur clubs from across the world, representing their nation.
Flying the flag for England at this year’s tournament are the Rugby Lions, formed out of the historic Rugby Football Club which plays at Webb Ellis Road in Rugby.
Also known as the Rugby Lions, the club’s logo of the ‘Rampant Lion’ is the same as that of Town House, Rugby School where William Webb Ellis was a pupil.
Two hundred years ago in 1823, at a school football match on the Close at Rugby School, William Webb Ellis picked up the football, and famously ran with it, creating the game of rugby.
The club, once in the old first division of the domestic game in the UK has experienced turbulence over recent decades through lack of ownership and funding. They now, however, are representing the country in France this month as part of the Amateur Rugby World Cup.
The Lions have already secured their place in the quarter final stage of the tournament following pool victories over Japan and Argentina. They face Australia’s Southern Lions RUFC this Thursday.
Ahead of the tournament, the club has been crowdfunding to cover its costs to compete at the tournament. Businesses have been showing their support for the side, including UK-based manufacturer Aramis Rugby, with the company donating playing shirts and shorts to the club for the competition.
As well as showing its support for the amateur game, Aramis Rugby has a strong link to the professional tournament as Official Supporter of Rugby World Cup France 2023, seeing the Devon-based company provide training, grounds and fitness equipment to the 20 participating teams at this year’s tournament, including the world’s most advanced digital analytical scrum machines. Aramis also partners with the national federations for Italian Rugby, Samoa and Fiji.
Chairman of The Rugby Football Club, Mal Malik said: “The Rugby Football Club are delighted with the help and support received from Aramis Rugby in providing their playing kit at the Mondial Amateur World Cup taking place in France. We are grateful to the team at Aramis Rugby for providing us the playing kit in such a short time frame and being so helpful and efficient in getting it to us before our departure for France.
“Not only that, but the players are especially happy with the quality and fit of the shirts and shorts provided. We would have no hesitation in recommending Aramis to the rugby world in general.”
Roshni Mahajan from Aramis Rugby added: “It’s so important to us that while we support the professional game, we continue to provide opportunity to grassroots rugby and enable all the chance to play this beautiful sport.
“2023 is such an exciting year for Aramis with our work alongside the Rugby World Cup and our international federations Italy, Samoa and Fiji.
But, when The Rugby Football Club got in touch we knew we could help them with their goals of playing at the Amateur World Cup, so wanted to help out by providing beautiful playing kit for them to represent England.”