1stXV v Blackheath, Match Preview
Ampthill welcome Blackheath to Dillingham Park this Saturday, Sep 29 for the third home game of the season. An interesting feature of this game will be the number of familiar faces turning out for the visitors, both former players and graduates of our youth system.
Blackheath, the oldest open membership rugby union club in the world are our 1stXV’s next opposition.
Founded in 1858 as an Old Boys club of Blackheath Proprietary School, they changed their constitution in 1862 to allow anyone to become a member thus becoming the first ‘open’ membership club in the world. To this day they are known as ‘Club’, a tradition that started when fixtures were played against the school, spectators cheered for ‘School’ or ‘Club’…
In October 1863 Blackheath was a founder member of The Football Association which was formed with the intention to frame a code of laws under the one heading of “football”. By December Blackheath had resigned from the FA due to the proposed laws removing much of what rugby clubs considered key to their sport.
At the beginning of 1871 a meeting attended by representatives from 22 clubs was held in London directly resulting in the founding of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). Blackheath is one of seven of the original twenty-two clubs to have survived to this day.
Blackheath initially played on the Heath, moving first to Richardson’s Field before taking up permanent residence at the Rectory Field in 1883.
The first ever rugby union international match was played between England & Scotland in 1871 in Edinburgh, the England squad contained four Blackheath players, in 1881 the first international between England & Wales was played at Richardson’s Field.
Blackheath have been ever present at level 3 since winning promotion from level 4 in season 2002/03 as champions. This season, they have a played 4 won 3 record to lie 6th in the table just 1 place and 1pt above the hosts.
Our 1stXV’s worst performance of the season last week saw them lose 17-5 away at Plymouth Albion, despite much possession & territory, they were unable to trouble the scoreboard.
Changes to the 1stXV squad this week include Carl Burgess who comes in at lock, Kevin Barrett returns at scrum half while George De Cothi rotates to the bench and Cieran Whyte covers the outside backs.
We offer our warmest welcome to our visitors and their travelling support.
DoR Mark Lavery comments “It’s been an inconsistent start to the season from the Maroon and Gold which is frustrating for the coaches and players alike. Everyone is working hard to improve our performances and we hope this game against Blackheath is a step in that direction.”
Blackheath’s team is provisional, based on that which played last week against Mowden Park, check back for updates.