The Rugby Union Writers’ Club was conceived during a discussion at the Cock Tavern, Fleet Street, between the late Terry O’Connor (Daily Mail), John Reed (Sunday Express), Fred Garside (Hayters Agency) and John Reason (Sunday Telegraph), and the club was formed at a meeting in the Albany public house, Station Yard, Twickenham, on 16 January 1960.
The objects of the club are:
(a) to further the interests of Rugby Union Football;
(b) to further the interests of its members.
Membership is open to all writers, photographers and broadcasters actively involved in rugby union journalism, and while it is a UK-based organisation, there are members around the world. Applications for membership are welcome, by contacting any of the committee officers listed below.
The annual meeting of the Rugby Union Writers’ Club is held every year at Twickenham on Premiership final day, and the club stages a hugely popular dinner in London in January to present the Pat Marshall Memorial Award to the outstanding rugby personality of the previous year and, if considered appropriate, a Special Award for lifetime achievement.
The personality of the year for 2018 was Johnny Sexton, the Ireland and Lions fly-half, who flew in from Dublin to be a guest at the dinner. Previous winners have included Owen Farrell, Eddie Jones, Dan Carter and Emily Scarratt, and the first recipient was Mervyn Davies, the great Wales No.8, in 1976.
The club also presents tankards to unsung heroes of the game. The most recent recipients were Danielle ‘Nolli’ Waterman, Paul Tupai, Tony Rodgers, Phil Keith-Roach and Gary Forge, and in January 2018 the club honoured Max Boyce (for his 30 years-plus service to Glynneath RFC) and Michael Harrison of Wharfedale RUFC.
Tankards have also been presented in recent years to: Bryan James (secretary of Treorchy RFC in the Rhondda Valley), Chris Myers (honorary doctor at Rotherham Titans); Des Seabrook (president and colts coach of Orrell; past player, coach and administrator with Orrell, Lancashire, the North of England and England); England’s most-capped women’s player Rochelle Clark, Dave Townsend from Cheltenham RFC, Nick Oates of Wetherby RUFC, Terwyn Williams from London Welsh and the Welsh Exiles, three fund-raisers at Cirencester RFC, Alison Donnelly (Scrum Queens website), Rob Smith of Wasps, Sam Drury (Ossett) and Roy Lewis (Ebbw Vale).
RUWC OFFICERS 2019
President: David Hands
T: 07770 350845
Chairman: Robert Kitson
T: 07785 778126
Vice-chairman: Duncan Bech
T: 07595 472531
Honorary Secretary: Hugh Godwin
T: 07968 392688
Honorary Treasurer: Chris Jones
T: 07774 772820