- St Benedicts RUFC will play Tunbridge Wells in the RFU Intermediate Cup
- All the RFU Finals will be played at Twickenham this Saturday, 7 May
Of the thousands of fans who will be travelling to Twickenham to watch St Benedicts RUFC in their first RFU Cup final this weekend, there is one who is making a particularly impressive trip.
While most will be making the already impressive 350 mile journey down from Cumbria to the Home of England rugby, co-founder Tommy Cartmell will be flying 4,400 miles from Miami to be at the most significant match in the club’s history.
|RFU Finals day fixtures
|11.00am – Junior Vase: Buxton v Old Cranleighans
|1.00pm – Senior Vase: West Leeds v Withycombe
|3.00pm – Intermediate Cup: St Benedicts v Tunbridge Wells
|5.00pm – National U20 Championship: Yorkshire U20 v Northumberland U20|
The commitment and support from St Benedicts’ many fans is testament to its place in the community despite being a relatively new club.
Founded 43 years ago, the club quickly cemented its place at the heart of its community despite not having their own clubhouse for the first 30 years.
"We’re a complete community club."
In 1997 they were named the Cumbria Club of the Year and have appeared in five Cumbria Cup finals but reaching the RFU Intermediate Cup final marks their proudest moment so far.
“Everyone at the club is absolutely bouncing,” says club secretary Steve Howse. “It’s a great honour to be here and we’re proud to be one of the only Cumbrian teams to have ever got this far in the competition.”
It’s been the most successful season in the club’s history with the 1st XV aiming to complete the treble of winning their league, the Cumbria Cup and the RFU Intermediate final.
“We’ve had a lot of youngsters coming through which has really helped us,” says Howse when trying to explain the team’s success. “Pretty much all of our players are from the local community and that sense of being a real local team has helped massively.”
"Playing at Twickenham will be incredible."
The club are eager to use the success of the senior side to help expand the club and it seems to be working.
For the first time this year they have introduced junior rugby for U8s, U9s and U12s and they are hoping that developing more players at a younger age will help their 1st XV in the long run.
Playing at Twickenham will be particularly special for St Benedicts’ player and coach Steve Wood, with the final likely to be his final appearance for the club.
“Regardless of the result, just the experience of playing at Twickenham will be incredible for all the players and coaches,” says Howse. “We want them to go out there and enjoy it. It’s a proud moment for the club and we want it to be a great day for all of the fans who have travelled.”
From Cumbria to Miami, St Benedicts' many supporters will be coming from far and wide, all with the hope of witnessing an historic moment in the club’s short but eventful history.
|Spotlight On St Benedicts RUFC|
|Senior: Two senior men's teams and a Veterans side|
|Junior: Mini rugby from U8s - U12s|
|League: 1st XV - winners of North Lancashire/Cumbria|