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SSE joins with RFU to power club rugby in English communities

10 August 2011

  • SSE named a National Community Partner of the Rugby Football Union
  • Leading energy company will take on title sponsorship of National and Divisional Leagues
England International and SSE ambassador Tom Croft visited Bracknell RFC this week

Photo: RFU Archive

Leading energy company, SSE, has today been named as a National Community Partner of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). The three-year partnership will see SSE invest significantly to support community rugby in England and take on the title sponsorship of the National and Divisional Leagues.

To help shape their commitment to English rugby, SSE are asking all members of local rugby clubs throughout England to have their say on the resources and facilities that will benefit them most. After the rugby community has had their say through the ‘What Clubs Need’ online survey, SSE will use these results to roll out a season-long programme of rewards, resources and opportunities for rugby clubs.  The survey is live today on

At the launch event this week, SSE National League 3 side Bracknell RFC was announced as the first club to benefit from additional resource to give their season a boost. England International and SSE ambassador Tom Croft visited the club, providing their National League First XV with a training session and delivering the good news that SSE would be giving them exactly what they need in the form of a contribution to their much-needed floodlights.

Leicester Tigers flanker and World Cup hopeful Tom Croft enjoyed the event, which brought back memories of his own community rugby background at Newbury RFC before joining the Leicester Tigers academy: “Having grown up in the English club rugby system, I know what a difference any additional support and investment can make to local rugby clubs – especially the smaller clubs in the lower Leagues.

"It’s great to see SSE taking an interest in the future of the game by investing where it is needed the most. That will make all the difference. It certainly has here at Bracknell."

Stephen Forbes, Director of Sales, Marketing and Energy Services for SSE was proud to announce the partnership: “SSE is a growing brand, known better to many of our English customers as Southern Electric, and our primary focus is on delivering the best possible service for our customers – in short, making their lives easier in as many ways as we can.

"Our partnership with the RFU will help us do this for rugby clubs and their surrounding communities all over the UK – with a particular focus on the areas we serve and provide for. We’re excited about our forthcoming plans that will bring this to bear."

SSE support RFU's Community Rugby Coaches (CRCs)

A cornerstone of the partnership sees SSE support the funding of the RFU’s Community Rugby Coaches (CRCs); each a qualified coach working under the strategic direction of an RFU Rugby Development Officer (RDO). SSE recognises the CRCs are a vital development route for the grassroots game and is delighted to support such an integral relationship for the growth of the sport.

Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director for the RFU, commented: "We’re delighted to see SSE join the RFU family. The success of rugby in England depends on the longevity of success at the community level to support growth through to the elite game. With SSE backing the National and Divisional Leagues and helping to develop our invaluable CRC workforce, club rugby in England has received a further boost."

Sophie Goldschmidt, who joined the RFU as Chief Commercial Officer in July, added:

"The announcement of SSE’s investment in the grassroots game is a credit to both SSE’s dedication to the development of the sport and the work of the Union. The new partnership provides important additional funding which will help to continue the outstanding work of community rugby coaches all around the country."

To have your say in SSE’s club rugby support programme and to tell them exactly what your club needs, log on now to Every respondent gets 10% off at the RFU’s online store, and those who offer greater detailed responses stand a chance of winning tickets to watch England in the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.