8th Dec, 2016

Stratford Rugby Club players relishing Ricoh Arena experience

Liam Moakes 15th Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A THIRD rugby club will enjoy a starring role at the Ricoh Arena when Wasps take on Northampton Saints in ‘The Stinger’ next month.

Before and during the Aviva Premiership clash on Sunday, April 3 (3pm), dubbed ‘The Stinger’, more than 300 players from Stratford Rugby Football Club will be joining forces with Wasps as they get behind the Marie Curie charity.

The Ricoh Arena will be transformed into a yellow wonderland in an attempt to raise awareness and valuable funds for Marie Curie, the UK’s leading charity for people living with any terminal illness and their families.

Before kick-off and at half time, Stratford’s juniors will be entertaining the crowd when they go head-to-head in a series of rugby games.

Players of all ages will then form a guard of honour and take part in the big shirt shake to welcome the two teams out on to the pitch to a sea of yellow, while two lucky players will get the chance to become mascots and rub shoulders with both captains.

Tom Rance, Director of Rugby at Stratford RFC, said his club is reaping the benefits of being an official partner club of Wasps.

He said: “Being on board with Wasps in the community has done wonders for us, both on and off the pitch.

“Everybody at the club, from the juniors to the first team, are looking forward to gracing the Ricoh Arena turf, it really is going to be a massive experience for them.

“Wasps have definitely raised the profile of rugby in the area and we’ve definitely seen new faces come into our club, both as players and fans over the last year.

“The Wasps Cash Back scheme has allowed us to capitalise on this interest, whereby we receive 20 per cent of every Wasps ticket purchased through our website. This then helps us to go out and fund our own community coaches who go into schools to host rugby sessions.”

On match day at the Ricoh Arena, volunteers will be collecting for Marie Curie around the ground and in the hospitality suites, while activities will be organised in the increasingly popular and family-friendly Fan Village.

Verity Brown, Community Development Manager at Wasps, added: “To get hundreds of kids along to the Northampton game is just fantastic and partnering with local clubs like Stratford is part of our long-term aim to develop strong relationships with the community.”

Tickets for Wasps versus Northampton Saints are available from £15 for adults, whilst under tens go free. They are available from www.wasps.co.uk or by ringing 024 7678 6411. A contribution from each match ticket sold will be made to Marie Curie.