‘Unique spirit’ earns Badger sweet success
Boss Brown praises winners of regional qualifying event
TEAM Honey Badger sevens manager Gordon Brown claims his side’s unique team spirit helped them to triumph at a recent event, but as they now gear up to take on the best the region has to offer, he is desperate to keep the hot streak going.
Team Honey Badger, a sevens team at Old Merchant Taylors’ Rugby Club, won the Middlesex 7s, which took place at Richmond RFC and had been selected as one of 32 local qualifiers to host England Rugby’s inaugural community sevens competition, the 24/ Sevens series.
24/Sevens is an exciting new community sevens series that aims to grow rugby and increase participation among men and women in clubs.
Local qualifier winners will progress to regional play-offs with the competition culminating in a showpiece national grand final event with 24 teams at the end of July, hosted by England Rugby. And Brown claims that a perfect mixture of different ages and backgrounds in the Honey Badger team ultimately paid dividends at the Middlesex 7s.
“What I really enjoy is teambuilding and sevens is perfect for that. You get a great spread of people – we had one guy who stood out at the Middlesex 7s, Hugo Anthony,” 60-year-old Brown said.
“He was only 17 and he was playing with older, more experienced guys, but if you gave him the ball in space he was going to score.
“The boys nicknamed him Turbo, but rugby wasn’t actually his sport, he is a world kayaking champion for his age.
“We started off as players from Old Merchant Taylors’, but we’re now an open invitational side and it is our first year as Team Honey Badger – we just picked the name of the meanest animal that we could think of.”
Team Honey Badger will now be part of the 24/Sevens South East play-off which takes place at Saracens’ Allianz Park on July 10 with a chance to reach the national grand final.
And Brown says that while his side will relish the opportunity to play on such a big stage and have a great day out, they are certainly not just there to make up the numbers.
“Myself and the coach, Francois Lombard like it because it is a one day event and it is a great social event – wives, girlfriends, family and friends can all come along and it is a top day out,” Brown said.
“Sevens is enjoyable and it is set for huge growth with its inclusion in the Olympics.
“But we are confident and ambitious and we are going to Allianz Park hopeful of qualifying for the national finals”
England Rugby 24/Sevens, a new exciting grassroots sevens competition for all rugby teams, welcomes anyone who just wants to pick up a ball and run, for fun or glory.
Visit www.englandrugby.com/24sevens to get involved
n TRIUMPH: Team Honey Badger