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Middlesex RugbyPresident's Corner : Middlesex Rugby

President’s Corner

Read the latest from President of Middlesex Rugby, Nigel Orton.


11 May 2024

President presents the Middlesex Club Sevens trophies

President presents the Middlesex Club Sevens trophies

The 2024 Middlesex Sevens was an enjoyable day in glorious weather at Grasshoppers RFC. As President it was a privilege to present plaques and cups to the successful squads at the end of the festival and to have been able to witness so many players having fun. Huge thanks to or team of referees, Bavey and all at Grasshoppers RFC, and to Marc Coles, Steve Partridge and Fred Cracknell for organising the event.

Photo courtesy of David Duff  www.Sportsmediaimages.com

27 April 2024

The president watches Harrow win their Papa Johns Cup quarter final

The president watches Harrow win their Papa Johns Cup quarter final

The President supported Harrow in their Papa Johns Counties 2 South Plate Quarter-final against Woodbridge RFC from Suffolk, which Harrow won 40 – 36 pts to progress on to the semi-final, against Chipstead RFC on 4 May, at home.

A fast-moving entertaining game between two evenly balanced level 8 sides. Harrow showed great defence and some slick handling.

6 April 2024

President visits Old Streetonians

President visits Old Streetonians

The president watched Old Streetonians win two games at the Hackney Marshes Centre to round off the 2023-24 league season. Their 1s beat league champions, London Scottish Lions 39 – 27 pts in London & SE Division Counties 1 Herts/Middx league. Their 3s, playing in the Herts/Mx Merit Table Division 3, against Hammersmith & Fulham 4s won 36 – 19 pts.

23 March 2024

The President was hosted by Kilburn Cosmos at their game against Actonians

The President was hosted by Kilburn Cosmos at their game against Actonians

The President watched the Counties 3 (Herts/Mx) league match between Kilburn Cosmos and Actonians, which Actonians won 0 – 29 pts.

Actonians had a slight edge in both the forwards and backs, but great defence by Kilburn limited their try scoring.

14 March 2024

Harrow School win National Schools Cup 2024

Harrow School win National Schools Cup 2024

It was great honour to watch a thrilling final at Twickenham Stadium between two unbeaten U18 XVs.  Harrow School clinched victory from Kirkham Grammar School 29-27 in the dying moments of a very fast and physical game.  This was the England Schools’ 2024 Cup sponsored by Continental Tyres.

In the Yr 7 girls’ showcase, Totteridge Academy, N20 was one of 30 schools that participated on the hallowed turf.

2 March 2024

The President takes a trip down memory lane

The President takes a trip down memory lane

The President played for Old Kingsburians in the ‘70s and met up with many of his former teammates at a reunion lunch hosted by West London RFC prior their encounter with Old Streetonians 3s. West London was formed from merging O Kingsburians, O Gaytonians and Roxeth Manor just over 20years ago and their past players enjoyed catching up with each other and reminiscing. West London won 41-12 pts in the Mdx Merit Table Div 3, at the London Marathon Playing Fields, Greenford.

28 February 2024

The President visited the Middlesex Schools sevens

The President visited the Middlesex Schools sevens

The President enjoyed the Middlesex Schools’ Boys’ U18 Sevens.16 teams, 200 players, and 9 referees made for a great afternoon at St Benedict’s Playing Fields. The presence of Millfield and elite rugby centres, Gordons, Bishop Wand and Oaklands made it a tough tournament for schools that only enter this tournament. The playing standard was very high making every game competitive and entertaining to watch, with all teams exhibiting well-rehearsed strategies in defence and attack.

Winners were: The Cup – Hampton School; The Plate – Millfield School; The Shield – St Benedict’s School ; The Bowl – Oaklands College

17 February 2024

President watches UCS win

President watches UCS win

In an entertaining level 9 match, in the Counties 3 (Herts/Middx) league where seven tries were scored, UCS beat Finsbury Park 36-7 pts. UCS (maroon and black) were at Farm Avenue where they are hosted by the school with its excellent facilities. It was in the second half that UCS began to dominate the game, aided by the end-to-end slope. Both teams constructed good moves and solid defences.

11 February 2024

Saracen Amateurs RFC welcomed the President

Saracen Amateurs RFC welcomed the President

Saracen Amateurs RFC welcomed the President on Friday 9 Feb to watch their floodlit match against Brunel University. A fast and furious encounter which, despite the wet weather involved great ball handling by both teams. Saracens with extra kgs in their forwards pack had the edge and this translated into a win 26 -13 pts with both well placed in the London & SE Counties 2 (Herts/Mx) league table. It was good to see a couple of our County U20s playing for Brunel. Read more in the March edition of our county newsletter.

27 January 2024

London Japanese entertain the President

London Japanese entertain the President

The President watched London Japanese play Whitton Lions in Middlesex Merit Table Division 2. Whitton were suffering from a depleted squad. Thanks to London Japanese (LJ) for their warm welcome to me. Despite a scoreline of 75 – 5 pts, it was a well contested encounter played in a good spirit at Twyford Avenue with lots of end-to-end exciting play. LJ were promoted last season and before, and this result puts them third in the table.

14 January 2024

Middlesex U18 Girls vs Buckinghamshire

Middlesex U18 Girls vs Buckinghamshire

Together with County Chair, Eddie Keal the President watched Middlesex Girls’ U18 squad in their match against Buckinghamshire at Twyford Avenue. Two well drilled sides played with great energy, Middlesex turning in a comfortable win, 49 pts – 7 pts. Congratulations to all the girls who ignored the cold conditions to concentrate on supporting each other and playing as an effective team. Several coaches work with this squad, led by Chris Mason, thank you to all of them. News has come through that two girls have secured international selection, well done to Poppy Love of Grasshoppers, Henley College and Thames Valley Centre of Excellence (England) and Niamh Gallagher of Enfield Ignatians, and her CE (Ireland).

9 December 2023

County President, Nigel Orton watched Hackney v Enfield Ignatians on 9 December

County President, Nigel Orton watched Hackney v Enfield Ignatians on 9 December

County President, Nigel Orton watched Hackney v Enfield Ignatians at Spring Hill, E5 on 9 December. The match was in London & SE Division Counties Herts/Middx 1 league; A lively contest was fought between two well matched teams and resulted in Hackney winning 15 – 9 pts; Hackney are now 9th in the table, Enfield at 11th. Both teams did well to minimise handling errors in the wet conditions. There was a skilful kick ahead and chase for captain Yinka Busari to score Hackney’s try, their first score being a penalty try. Jack Wilson kicked Enfield’s penalties.

2 December 2023

Middlesex President presented Old Grammarians’ President, Paul Rose with his County 30-year Volunteer Award

Middlesex President presented Old Grammarians’ President, Paul Rose with his County 30-year Volunteer Award

Middlesex President, Nigel Orton presented Old Grammarians’ President, Paul Rose with his County 30-year Volunteer Award prior to their Herts/Middx Merit Table Championship match on 2 December. This in part rewards Paul and his wife Debbie for the hard work they have invested to make the club successful.

OG (hooped shirts) are having a very good season and aim to relaunch their 2nds in the New Year. A thriving youth section is beginning to feed the men’s XV and a women’s touch side are having fun on Sundays.

Old Grammarians beat Weston RFC 67 -17 pts with plenty of action on show for the lunch guests to enjoy.

24 November 2023

The President attends Friday Night Lights at UCS

The President attends Friday Night Lights at UCS

Your President watched a strong University College School team beat Latymer Upper 22-3 in an exciting game under lights at Ealing Trailfinders on 24 November. Both teams created good moves and exhibited stoic defences, which entertained the large crowd of families and fellow pupils.  

This can act as a reminder that we all need to be working to connect school and university players to our clubs, so that they have the opportunity a pathway to continue to enjoy our sport when they graduate.

22 November 2023

President watches Imperial College 2nd XV win

President watches Imperial College 2nd XV win

Imperial College 2nd XV (in Blue) beat the University of Sussex 2nd XV 19-18pts in a thrilling BUCS Southern Conference Cup encounter on Wednesday 22 November. Several stand out players exuded top skills and much talent in this fast-paced game at Harlington.

With 22,000+ students Imperial College is just one of 17 universities situated in Middlesex. There are rich opportunities for clubs to recruit from these. Many of the club’s players already play in teams at home, or within Middlesex, from League 3 down. The college field a Saturday side, London Imperials RFC for students and alumni as well as Imperial Medics and a Women’s XV.

11 November 2023

The President enjoyed WASPS hospitality and meeting the Club legends!

The President enjoyed WASPS hospitality and meeting the Club legends!

Sam Williams led a strong Wasps squad to victory 21-14 over Tabard at Twyford Avenue on 11 November in their Counties 2 Herts/Middx League match.  It was an entertaining match with Wasps forwards dominating.  I was welcomed to a pre-match lunch and enjoyed the club’s hospitality and meeting with many of their supporters and a group of club legends from the 70’s and 80s who provided vocal touchline support.

I also briefly saw part of London New Zealand’s game against HAC 2nds on a neighbouring pitch.

28 October 2023

Pinner (red & black) hoist Netanel Lawrence-Ojo up in a lineout

Pinner (red & black) hoist Netanel Lawrence-Ojo up in a lineout

I was given a very warm welcome to Pinner RFC by their President, Peter Hudspeth and I enjoyed witnessing ten tries as Pinner outplayed Hatfield 41-22pts in a Herts/Middx Merit South game. I met many club members and players who are looking to celebrate the 70th anniversary of opening their clubhouse in Shaftsbury Recreation Ground, Hatch End this coming January. I wish Pinner well for the rest of their season.

14 October 2023

President enjoyed Cornish hospitality and watched them win against Gravesend

President enjoyed Cornish hospitality and watched them win against Gravesend

The President was entertained to lunch at London Cornish and then watched them win their league match against Gravesend 20-13.

It was good to see many past players attend lunch and enjoy their fun reminiscences. Thanks to all at London Cornish for their hospitality. Yeghes da!

30 September 2023

Andy Mortimer memorial game at Old Millhillians

On 30 September I joined many other club members at Old Millhillians RFC for their fixture against Wasps Fc. This game was in memory to Andy Mortimer, a former County President and ex-playing member of both clubs. Tributes were led by Rob Udwin (RFU Senior Vice President) and Chris Kelly (OM Club President and former RFU President) and many Club VPs and friends attended the pre-match lunch. Wasps won a competitive game with great skills exhibited by both teams. A minute’s silence honoured Andy before kick off.

16 September 2023

The new President visits Enfield Ignations

The new President visits Enfield Ignations

The County President’s first Club visit of this season was to accept an invite by Enfield Ignatians RFC. They lost 7-36 to Cheshunt.  Nigel wished them well for the season in Counties 1 Middx/Herts League (level 7) at Kevin Linnane’s pre-match Club President’s lunch to launch their 75th season.

Peter & Jok presenting playing medals at the Girls U18 tournament

Peter & Jok presenting playing medals at the Girls U18 tournament

On Sunday 17th April 2022 Middlesex Under 18 Girls played a tournament against Kent, Berkshire, and Bucks at WASPS.  The president presented playing medals to the Middlesex team at the end of the tournament.  Great sunny day had by all.

20 March 2022

Kilburn Cosmos Women's coaches receiving the Beyond Rugby President Award

Kilburn Cosmos Women's coaches receiving the Beyond Rugby President Award

The coaches of the Kilburn Cosmos ladies team, Rob and Angelina receive their Beyond Rugby Presidents Award.  The President enjoyed the club’s hospitality on  most enjoyable day at Gladstone park. 

16 September 2021

Louise Latter receives her well deserved President Medal for 2021

Louise Latter receives her well deserved President Medal for 2021

President, Peter Baveystock uses the first opportunity to present Chair of Rugby Development, Louise Latter with her 2021 President’s Medal whilst at the West Group meeting at Grasshoppers. The award was in recognition of her outstanding work on helping Clubs throughout the pandemic.

22 July 2021

President present NW3 Trophy to Old Streetonians

President present NW3 Trophy to Old Streetonians

The President and his wife Sandra, were please to be able to visit Old Streetonians on Thursday 22nd July at their pub, Howl At The Moon.  Peter presented their 2019/20 London Northwest 3 championship trophy, along with the Middlesex Merit Table winners trophy to the 2nd XV, each team achieving over 100 points in both competitions.

The awards were made in a community garden adjacent to the pub for what was a celebration ahead of the hard work they’re expecting in London Northwest 2.

Pete and Sandra were welcomed by Club President, Dick Stringer and Old Street’s stalwarts, Lynn and Richard Hay.

Peter said that he was looking forward to returning to see them play during their 30th Season.

Recognising our volunteers

Recognising our volunteers

Middlesex respecting our volunteers. At the West group meeting, it gave me great pleasure to award Nigel Smith from Quintin RFC the Middlesex 30 year award for outstanding service to Rugby.

A great man from a great Middlesex club. On behalf of Middlesex Management board & members, Thank You Sir.

The President at the West Group Meeting

Middlesex West group meeting. Middlesex is divided into 4 group areas, W, S, N & NW. Each group meets 4 times each season. Management leads on policy & strategy, which has to be passed by members at our groups. Democracy & Leadership at its best.

The President visits Ickenham Saints

The President visits Ickenham Saints

Great day hosted by Dick Pooley at Ickenham RFC. On the pitch the players looked to be enjoy themselves and put in a great second half performance. The shared use of facilities at Ruislip RFC looks a neat fit, while the environment and atmosphere was spot on. Well done to all.

Twickenham win the Chris Mapletoft Memorial Cup

Twickenham win the Chris Mapletoft Memorial Cup

Excellent game of rugby with 2 of Middlesex great clubs, Twickenham RFC v Teddington RFC, competing for the Chris Mapletoft Memorial Cup. With 50 returning students & club players involved and over 300 in attendance. Well hosted by Twickenham RFC. Top work by all who supported this event. Well organised evening by Twickenham RFC, DOR Joe Samuels

President at the Middlesex Schools Finals

Amazing Middlesex Schools Festival put on by Middlesex Past President Tom Brownsell and Middlesex Schools Rugby Representative David Jones.

A week of Rugby with over 40 schools and over a 1,200 players both Male & Female.

President’s visit to Vet Rugby

President’s visit to Vet Rugby

Excellent Friday night of Vets Rugby, this is a great initiative, allowing for competitive games played in the right spirit, made possible by the refs who travel county wide and cross borders allowing this to happen.

Thanks to match official Clive Roberts for making this possible. Clive was awarded a Middlesex long service referee award for 40 years service.

President’s visit to Hendon

President’s visit to Hendon

What a great season, Hendon have had. Head coach Phil Smith has made a great impact in his first season. His leadership certainly has the players buying in to a very quick style of play.

Henson finished 3rd in Middx and Herts 2 and there is a buzz in the club house. This was a great coaching appointment as Phil, who is a level 3 coach, has coached at the top level.

Well done Hendon, great teamwork.

Pictured – Phil, with Past Middlesex President Tom Brownsell and Hendon Club President, David Gershlick.

President’s Visit to Belsize Park

Well done, to Belsize Park in obtaining their club accreditation.

In a recent visit I was very impressed with the turnout of minis and youth players, both boys and girls.

The standard of coaching and the coach to player ratio was a credit to Middlesex.

Pictured – Director of Rugby Greg Forster with ex Saracens Legend Hugh Vyvyan, who assist with the youth coaching.

13 April 2019

Middlesex Bowl final

Middlesex Bowl final

Well done to both London Welsh and Finsbury Park in what was an excellent Middlesex Bowl final.

Although the final result was 34 -12, to London Welsh, Finsbury Park gave them a good challenge especially in the first quarter.

Both team have had a fantastic season and have both gained promotion.

Good luck to both teams next season.

Well done to London Welsh in hosting an incredible day, the pre lunch, choir singing and vocal spectators in very large numbers was a credit to this Middlesex competition final.

13 April 2019

Middlesex Bowl Final

Well done to area referee organiser Rob Park for being part of a team of 3 for the Middlesex Bowl Final, between London Welsh and Finsbury Park.

Rob, thanks for all the work from your match officials and yourself throughout the season.

7 April 2019

President’s visit to Hove RFC

President’s visit to Hove RFC

Richard and Geraldine, thanks for the great hosting of your pre match lunch and what was an interesting game of rugby which ended in a 32 – 32 draw.

The Hove support despite having a difficult season inspired the Hove players to put in their best performance of the season.

London Cornish have had a very good season following promotion last season.

Well done and good luck to both clubs.

Jerry, thanks for the invite and looking after me on the day.

Pictured – Jerry Rogers – London Cornish, Hove President Richard Hopkins and Hove Chair Geraldine Brown.

30 March 2019

Presidents Message and end of season report 2018-19

This report is a reflection on my first year as President of Middlesex.

I have been involved with Middlesex since 1990, I have held various roles in coaching and managing positions with the youth and Senior sides and for 8 years was on the Rugby Development Partnership, which was a link between our clubs and schools. I have also been involved in coaching development which now includes referee development.

I am currently Chair of the London Irish Regional Playing Pathway Group, which overlooks the playing pathway of the Developing Player Programme for Middlesex and our DPP Partners Hampshire & Berkshire. I have been invited by the RFU to sit on a task group which is looking into the pathway for the U15s & U16s. I regularly visit our 3 DPP centres which is responsible for the development of Middlesex players from U13s – U16s of which we have 260 in the DPP programme.

Top of my Agenda this season was a commitment to visit as many of our member clubs throughout the County. To date I have visited over half of our member clubs, in addition I have met many of our group representatives at the various group meetings.

My first contact with Club officials was last July after my appointment at the AGM. Many will remember a communication letter which I sent out looking for support to re-enter the Senior County Championship. This was followed up by a number of visits to introduce our new senior head coach to the various clubs Coaching teams. The response of support was amazing which result in 3 good performances in our first season, we should all feel very proud of all players representing Middlesex Rugby.

Other official visits have included, the Schools Finals at Allianz Park, our mini / youth festivals run at various clubs. Attendance at representative games which have seen an increase in numbers in both the female and male participants. In addition to visiting our various member club games on a Saturday, I have attended numerous vets’ games on Friday Evenings and have viewed a number of the women Tyrrell’s games.

In April I visited the St Georges day girl’s festival. This festival in its 10th year has grown from strength to strength, with 4 age groups of girls competing in a festival over 2 days, allowing the participation of over 400 young girls.

I have represented Middlesex in the following external events, London Society of Referees Annual Dinner, Hertfordshire Clubs Dinner, Surrey Awards evening and the London Irish Awards evening. I also attended a Church service commemorating Middlesex day on the 16th May and on all occasions wear the Middlesex tie with pride.

It gives me great pleasure to see we have in place a robust competition programme which allows for much participation of players at all levels of the game including the 35 clubs playing M/Y rugby. The end of season Bowl Final, Vets Cup Final, Middlesex Cup Final and Club Middlesex 7s were all great occasions enjoyed by all.

The excellent volunteers evening at RFU held in June is a commitment by both the RFU and Middlesex in recognition of valuing the work of the volunteers which are the heartbeat of our clubs.

I have many people to thank for allowing my first season as President to be an enjoyable experience, from working with a voluntary management team who serve the County with passion and pride. To our group members who are the conduit in providing the information to our club members, and to all our member clubs officials who have made me feel very welcome on my visits. To our Local deliver team for the part they play in developing many areas of rugby and finally to our Past Presidents and Life Vice Presidents who have given me much advice and support, to all those volunteers involved in the various committees and sub committees, too many to name and finally to the Middlesex Office staff for their ongoing support on County matters.

As the end of the season approaches and we all make plans to spend a bit more time with our friends and families, I’d like to take the opportunity to make a few observations about our rugby family in the County.

Our core values, and our commitment to them, are what set this game apart from so many other sports and activities. Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship must remain as fundamental to everything we do.

Middlesex is a very special place, and not because we don’t exist as an administrative County any longer! We serve the most diverse, culturally mixed population in the world. We want to take a leading position on providing equal opportunities, fair treatment and respect for everyone involved in our game. We can only do that through you, our volunteers, players, officials, “blazers” and supporters. I urge you to take a little time this Summer to think about our values. If you want food for thought, there is some inspiration on the RFU website.

I have encouraged the County Management to read and contemplate what the statement means to them, and I ask you to do the same, no matter what role you play in your club or team. It’s vital to our continued success that we all aim for the same very high standards.

Next Season we celebrate the 140th anniversary of Middlesex County and we are in very different times with an ever-changing Rugby Landscape. We have in place a Middlesex Local Delivery Plan, put together by various stakeholders which does reflect the changing times and is our guide to strengthen our member clubs and the communities around them.

Thanks for Your Support in growing the game of Rugby Union in Middlesex.

Bob Lawless
President, Middlesex Rugby

30 March 2019

President’s Visit to Enfield Ignatians

President’s Visit to Enfield Ignatians

Enfield Ignatians v Belsize Park.

This was always going to be a difficult game with Belsize having an amazing season and the win today secured promotion.

Enfield Ignatians didn’t get off to the best of starts but deserved a little more out of the first half which would have secured them a much needed bonus point.

Today’s visit was a celebration of 20 years of Youth Rugby at Enfield Ignatians. A youth notice board and a youth players role of honour was unveiled.

Enfield are prospering with their youth development programme with 12 past youth players in the first XV squad.

A pre-match game with Enfield Ignatians U10s and Saracens U10s set off a great celebration day, well done to Martin Baker and team for organising the event.

Back in the clubhouse, President Chris Phillips hosted a great President’s lunch while looking after the club sponsors and the awarding of bouquets to the catering staff in this last home game of their 70th Season.

Pictured Chris Phillips, President of Enfield Ignatians and myself.

Middlesex Rugby

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