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Horsham Rugby Club face the biggest game in their 95 year long history

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The biggest game in the club's 95 year long history is taking place at Horsham Rugby Club on Saturday when they face St Austell in the national semi-final of the Papa Johns Cup. Kick off is at 14:00.

If Horsham win they will make their first ever appearance at Twickenham in the final on Sunday 07 May.  

This achievement has been reached on the back of a resounding away win against Regional 2 Thames champions Hammersmith & Fulham 14-37 and a thumping home win against Regional 2 Anglia champions Letchworth Garden City 45-14, who had been unbeaten since November 2021.

St Austell have also had an impressive season winning Regional 2 Tribute South West and then marching to the semi final of the Papa Johns Cup by dispatching previously unbeaten Regional 2 Tribute South Central champions Marlborough 25-22 and previously unbeaten Regional 2 Tribute Severn champions Matson 20-25.

The other semi final is between Old Northamptonians (from Northampton) and Moortown 
(from Leeds), with the final at Twickenham on Sunday 07 May. 

Horsham, in seeking a league and cup double, have already won Regional 2 South East securing promotion to Level 5 of England's rugby pyramid, the highest in the club's history, making them the most successful team in the town. This is equivalent to the level played by the likes of Wrexham or Notts County in the football world.

Top scorer this season is Declan Nwachukwu with 28 tries, whose brother Tony led the line with distinction for Horsham Football Club for many years.

Success this season has not been restricted to the men. Horsham's women's team went through their league season unbeaten to secure promotion from Women's NC 2 South East and Horsham's Under 16 Girls are in the final of the National Cup at Worcester on Sunday 30 April against Sandal from Wakefield.

The Women and Girls Section at Horsham has seen huge growth. It was only set up eight years ago and now has around 140 players.

This is the primary reason why the club are building two additional changing rooms this summer to cope with the extra demand on facilities. 

The club has 25 teams and is run by volunteers with a couple of exceptions and the players do not get paid for playing. They play for the love of the game and their club.

There is a real family and community based feel to the club. Admission to watch games is free and the vast majority of players are born and bred in and around Horsham, with it being the only club they have ever known, having started in the Mini and Junior Section of the club.

By Gavin Hewins

Published April 25, 2023, 3:15 p.m.