Last weekend saw Salisbury Rugby Club celebrating 100 years of playing as Salisbury RFC, the “Green and Whites”.

The Club first played at Norman Court, West Tytherley, in 1923 and now play at Castle Road, Salisbury.

On Friday evening there was a Ten a side Touch Rugby Tournament for some Junior players, Colts, Senior players and Veterans and if the rugby was not of the highest quality, the entertainment and commitment was.

During the evening, Marcus Olsen presented the Joe Osmond Walking Stick, which is played for every year to remember Joe and all he did to support Colts Rugby for many years before he died.

The evening ended with drinks and a BBQ at the Clubhouse for players and spectators.

Saturday evening saw the highlight of the Centenary Year with a Gala Dinner in a large marquee at the Clubhouse where 230 guests in Black Tie or Posh Frock, after Reception drinks, gathered for a four-course meal and some entertaining speeches.

Richard Larcombe, Club President, began the evening with particular thanks to Trethowans Solicitors and Chemring Countermeasures for their generous sponsorship of the dinner.

He then introduced Tim Stimpson who played for Leicester, England and the British and Irish Lions and was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, and Nigel Owens MBE the guest speaker.

Richard Hill, Salisbury’s own international rugby star, also popped in to support the club for part of the evening and is seen with Nigel Owens (Guest Speaker) and Richard Larcombe (Club President).

Salisbury Journal: Richard Larcombe (Club president), Nigel Owens, and Richard Hill Richard Larcombe (Club president), Nigel Owens, and Richard Hill (Image: Spencer Mulholland)

Tim Stimpson engaged the guests with wit and repartee, but on a serious note, also touched on the current issue of head injuries in rugby.

All proceeds from the Club’s Centenary Year will go to the Rugby Football Union’s Injured Players’ Foundation.

He then introduced Nigel Owens as the Guest Speaker.

Nigel, a proud Welshman, has recently retired as probably the best rugby referee in the world and Salisbury RFC was privileged to welcome him to the club.

He then entertained the audience with glimpses of his life as a young man in West Wales and then of his career as an international referee. 

He held the whole audience effortlessly with humour, emotion about aspects of life and rugby that he feels strongly about, and of course a number of very amusing rugby refereeing stories. After nearly an hour, he received a standing ovation.

Salisbury Journal: Nigel Owens giving his speechNigel Owens giving his speech (Image: Spencer Mulholland)

Freddie Tuilagi, a former Leicester and Samoan rugby player, also entertained the guests with his Gin bar, his own Tuilager beer and his muscles!

Salisbury Journal: Freddie Tuilagi, a former Leicester and Samoan rugby playerFreddie Tuilagi, a former Leicester and Samoan rugby player (Image: Spencer Mulholland)

Then, on Sunday morning at the Club, to close out the Centenary weekend over 200 5-18 year old Minis and Juniors boys and girls came together for a day of activities including an assault course, all completed in glorious sunshine.

The highlight of the day was the presentation of the Rory Walworth Players' Player of the Season awards for each age group. Rory was a Salisbury Junior player when he sadly passed away in 2009.

Every year a match is played on Boxing Day in his memory, and any money raised donated to the Junior Section of the Club for equipment and training courses.

This year Rory’s family decided that they would like to present an award to each age group in memory of Rory. Rory always liked the team spirit of rugby so the Players' Player award (voted for by teammates) seemed the perfect way to remember Rory.

So, an enjoyable year, culminating in an excellent weekend to celebrate 100 years of Salisbury Rugby.

As a result, at the beginning of next season the club will be able to present a substantial cheque to the RFU Injured Players Foundation.