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ENG­LAND rugby World Cup win­ner Maggie Alphonsi saw Hilling­don’s rugby play­ers take gold in the Bal­four Beatty Lon­don Youth Games Un­der-19 male 7s com­pe­ti­tion at Barn Elms Sports Cen­tre.

Hilling­don scored 116 points in their group – con­ced­ing 21 – be­fore beat­ing Bark­ing & Da­gen­ham 40-0 in the semi-fi­nal.

In the fi­nal they faced Kingston, who had also topped their group be­fore edg­ing past Houn­slow 26-19 in the fi­nal four, with Hilling­don too strong and fin­ish­ing com­fort­able 28-5 win­ners.

Chris Jepsen, Hilling­don team manager said: “The stan­dard of rugby was very, very good. There was a mixed abil­ity in terms of the stu­dents per­form­ing in this age group but I thought as the tour­na­ment pro­gressed, the stan­dard was very, very high and it goes to show that rugby is con­tin­u­ing to de­velop in the cap­i­tal.”

Alphonsi, who com­peted in the Lon­don Youth Games for En­field and is pa­tron for the 2015 games, was im­pressed with what she saw on the day.

She added: “To­day’s been ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic. I think what’s great about to­day is hav­ing a real range of devel­op­ment so you’ve got your un­der-7s play­ing a bit of tag rugby, through to the un­der13 girls and then you’ve got the se­nior boys so it’s been a re­ally good day and the at­mos­phere has been re­ally thriv­ing and it’s pleas­ing to see rugby at its best.”

Ear­lier this month, at West­way Sports & Fit­ness Cen­tre, the Hilling­don Boc­cia team qual­i­fied for a place in the mini boc­cia fi­nals at Crys­tal Palace with vic­to­ries over Brent, Houn­slow, Har­row, Mer­ton and Croydon.

Rugby and boc­cia are two of the 31 sports in the 2015 Bal­four Beatty Lon­don Youth Games.

The Lon­don Youth Games is Europe’s largest an­nual youth sports event and is driv­ing the le­gacy for in­creased par­tic­i­pa­tion in com­pet­i­tive sport and vol­un­teer­ing for young Lon­don­ers.

Some 126,897 young Lon­don­ers took part in the record-break­ing 2014 Bal­four Beatty Lon­don Youth Games, tak­ing the event to more than a mil­lion par­tic­i­pants since it launched in 1977.

GOOD JUDGE: Eng­land Rugby World Cup win­ner Maggie Alphonsi with the

Hilling­don team

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