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Crawley rugby volunteers flying the flag at Twickenham

Flying the flag is often used as a figure of speech, but for Crawley Rugby Football Club it is set to become a reality.

This is because 25 club volunteers have been selected as flag-bearers for England’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Grand Slam hopefuls Ireland this Saturday.

Crawley RFC scrum down at Willoughby Fields
Crawley RFC scrum down at Willoughby Fields

Club Chairman Dan McGurran believes this is recognition for the club’s hard work within their community.

He said: “We continue to strive to be the most inclusive club across the whole of Sussex and over the past five years we have been accredited with three national awards for our work as a community club which is all underpinned by our valuable volunteers, players, and supporters.

“This opportunity is a great way to give something back to the volunteers of the club who do so much and to say thank you to them for all they do with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

This is a sentiment echoed by Juniors Chairman Michael ‘Tank’ Wiltshire.

He said: “I believe the RFU wouldn’t just pick anyone for this opportunity the fact we have been recognised as a club for all our efforts and multiple awards says it all.”

The most recent of these awards came at the end of 2023, when Crawley were named Community Club of the Year at the nationally recognised Sport and Recreation Alliance’s Community Sport and Recreation awards.

In 2019, Crawley were also named as Club of the Year at the Guinness National Rugby Awards.

These accolades came because of the club’s commitment to their community, including the founding of Crawley Jets Wheelchair Rugby Club, supporting adults with learning difficulties to find jobs, and the establishment of youth girl’s teams within the club.

Club Captain and former Wales women’s international Dee Croft-Webb described the honour as a very proud day.

She said: “The club has been a part of my life for 32 years now. The wider family who volunteers week in week out have earned this opportunity to show the rugby community what Crawley brings.”

Crawley’s men’s first team currently play in the Counties 2 Sussex league, with much of the squad comprised of former youth players.

Flag-bearer and safeguarding officer Lesley Morgan expressed her pride at seeing her two sons rise from the Mini’s section at the club to representing the senior squads.

This seamless transition into senior rugby is something that the women’s set-up will hope to replicate.

For Under 14s coach Nick Hughes, a sense of completion will come with his role as a flag-bearer.

He said: “Last year my son’s U14s team were able to train at Twickenham and I had to watch from the stands, so I cannot wait to be on that pitch as well.”

There will be a live viewing of the match in Crawley’s clubhouse to celebrate the occasion, with members and supporters encouraged to use the hashtag #CrawleyRFCatTwickenham to show their support.


  • Henry Ollis-Brown

    Henry is a sports journalist with a passion for rugby and motorsports. He is a keen supporter of Harlequins and England rugby. He can normally be found researching an obscure fact to put into an article.