If you can’t get a ticket to see France at Twickenham on Sunday then get yourself down to Blackheath on Saturday afternoon where the England Counties rugby union side, made up of amateur and semi-professional players from outside the Premiership, entertain their French counterparts.
The England Counties side, launched in 2002, beat the French 29-16 on their home soil in their last meeting, but this weekend they’re coming off a narrow 20-17 away defeat to the Irish Clubs XV a fortnight ago. Esher players dominate the England squad, retained complete from the journey to the Emerald Isle, which also features members from the likes of Launceston, Henley and Darlington as well as a local hero, flanker Dave Allen, who will be hoping to make it onto his home Rectory Field turf from the replacements bench.
Kickoff at the Blackheath Rugby club on Charlton Road, SE3 is at 3pm, but the gates and bars will be open three hours before that, giving supporters the chance to get settled in well before the big game. However, adults wishing to try their hands at the Laser clay pigeon shoot or youngsters who fancy their chances over the “kids’ army assault course” would be well advised to limit their intake of beer and fizzy drinks respectively before they get their turn. Adult tickets are £10 including a souvenir programme while children get in for £4.
Photo via Brainless Angel’s Flickr stream.