Haverhill & District take part in Twickenham Takeover Day and play three matches at the home of England Rugby
Zac Evans says the experience of playing at Twickenham has given some of the players at Haverhill & District ‘a new lease of life’ to continue playing rugby next season.
The Greene King League Eastern Counties Division One West side were one of a select number of teams chosen to take part in the Twickenham Takeover Day, at the home of England Rugby, on Monday last week.
Haverhill were one of four men’s teams competing in the first-ever staging of the community takeover day and played three 20-minute matches on the hallowed turf at Twickenham Stadium.
“What a fantastic day that was,” Haverhill captain Evans reflected.
“It was absolutely surreal is the only way to describe it. It was an experience and a half.
“We got the opportunity to go into the first team changing rooms and do the team talk and everything else in the dressing room.
“We came through the tunnel. They line you up as if you’re an England player and give you the full experience as much as they can do.
“They had a professional photographer, a videographer, interviews afterwards. It really did feel like as close to it as possible, just without the 80,000 people in the crowd.
“There was around 600 people, but still the acoustics is just crazy.
“After a rollercoaster season that we’ve had it’s what the boys needed.
“It was a superb end to the season and potentially one or two were looking at retiring, but it’s given people a lease of life again.
“It was incredible and they want to play rugby again for another year.”
Haverhill got their Twickenham campaign off to a winning start with a 10-0 victory against East Peckham & Paddock Wood, before losing out narrowly to eventual winners Tavistock Development (12-5) and Doncaster Phoenix II (22-14).
“We played three games and we won one of them and the other two we lost by a try,” Evans said.
“Being only 20-minute games it’s difficult to try and get any fluid rugby going.
“You’re literally playing 100mph for that 20 minutes.
“It’s very fast paced and I think our fitness showed up a little bit as it’s a massive pitch, but we know what our focus is going to be on now when we come back in pre-season.
“It was a superb day. From going into the dressing rooms through to playing the games and the meals afterwards, it was all run really well.
“We stayed to watch the ladies’ final at the end of the day and all in all it was a fantastic day out.”