national gaze on wolfpack

SPOTLIGHT: RugbyNats is shining the national spotlight on the Haberden
SPOTLIGHT: RugbyNats is shining the national spotlight on the Haberden

Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club is under the national spotlight this week, as grassroots show RugbyNats focuses its gaze on The Haberden.

The social media platform showcases a different club each week across the national leagues, with the National League Two South side chosen as the next target.

PASSION: Ollie Smith

PASSION: Ollie Smith

The programme has been filming interviews with various people at the club, from the committee to volunteers, to collate a history of rugby in Bury and feature the hard work behind the scenes.

They will also be at tomorrow’s home game against London Irish Wild Geese (3pm) to capture the excitement and atmosphere of a Wolfpack first team match. Head coach Ollie Smith said it was ‘fantastic’ for the club, to raise the profile of a ‘successful set up’.

He said: “It’s brilliant to get this sort of attention.

“We are a little club in the middle of nowhere in rugby terms — there aren’t any Premiership clubs about — so it’s a real chance to raise the profile nationally, but more importantly, locally.

“It’s a chance to show the area that we can and do compete on a national playing field and to show our ambition to keep growing.

“But it’s also a fantastic opportunity to get some recognition for the backroom staff and volunteers that make this place run.

“There’s such passion and commitment off the field and a lot of hard work. There’s a fantastic set up at Bury Rugby Club and it deserves recognition.

“We’re a cracking little club.”

The show will also test the players in a round of the crossbar challenge — with players aiming to kick the ball onto the crossbar — for a lighter touch of entertainment before the match.

The presenters will then stay to watch the side battle against London Irish, a side Smith warns have improved significantly over the season.

He said: “A few weeks ago they might not have been a side you’d worry about, but they’ve developed week by week and provide a genuine threat now.

“They have had some cracking wins lately, including a defeat of Taunton in their last game, so we won’t be taking it lightly.”

The league returns after a weekend break and Smith said the Wolfpack are raring to go after the break, which he said was important to charge the players’ batteries, both mentally and physically.

“They needed it,” he said, “and are all the better for it. We can’t wait to get back on to the field now.

“The top two or three teams are standing out in the league, as are the bottom two or three, but everyone else in the middle is really competitive. Anyone is capable of beating anyone else so you have to go into every game committed to giving your all — or the other side will.

“I don’t know if the RugbyNats camera filming will add any pressure but I hope not.

“It should be a great weekend.”