- England Deaf ease to 19-5 win over Ely at Downham Road
- The side used to game to prepare for 2010 internationals against Wales and Scotland
England Deaf warmed up for their post-Christmas internationals by beating Eastern Counties One side Ely 19-5.
The game at Downham Road followed an award ceremony in Cambridge on Saturday evening where players and officials of the England Deaf Rugby Union were voted Charity of the Month by local radio station Star 107.
England's win included tries from centre Guy Lavery (Barnes), James Calver (Burgess Hill) and back-row forward Ian Collins (Sevenoaks) with Mark Lewis of Brighton landing two conversions.
Lavery was voted England Deaf Man of the Match by the Ely committee.
The one blemish on the win was an ankle injury sustained by England Deaf hooker Brett Pruce of Aylestone St James. There were initial fears that Pruce might have fractured his left ankle but serious ligament damage has since been diagnosed.
England are scheduled to play two internationals in the New Year against Wales at Broadstreet near Coventry on February 14 and Scotland at the GHA club in Glasgow on March 14.
Players are eligible to play for the England Deaf team if they have a combined average hearing loss of 25dB or more in both ears This roughly translates to a minimum hearing loss in both ears or a moderate hearing loss in one ear but with normal hearing in the other.
Not all of the players wear hearing aids or only communicate by sign language, and this has never stopped all the players communicating and playing rugby as a squad.
EDRU can offer Deaf Awareness advice to clubs and schools to help integrate deaf and hard of hearing players to clubs and liaise with club members to ensure they are managed correctly.