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This time next year, 20 international teams will be taking part in the globe’s largest Rugby competition, the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

This Sunday October 21st, 2018, almost 600 children aged under 10, who play for some 17 UK Clubs, will also be taking part in the fourth Oakman Cup, one of the UK’s largest, independent annual Festivals of Minis and Juniors Rugby, which will once again take place at Allianz Park, the home of Saracens Rugby.

The Rugby World Cup always sees a huge awakening of interest in the sport amongst the young and Oakman Inns has always supported that interest across the counties that host their ever-expanding collection of award-winning pubs. Mini & Junior rugby players from amateur clubs across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire will all be celebrating the power of rugby to inspire, impart self-confidence, and to foster team spirit.

Oakman Inns & Restaurants created and founded The Oakman Cup at the time of the last Rugby World Cup in 2015, and every year since then they have continued to support and encourage all the clubs they sponsor to send teams to play on this iconic pitch. For many of the young players with aspirations, perhaps, of one day representing their country in a Rugby World Cup, playing at Allianz Park will bring them one step closer to their rugby heroes, many of whom will have played on the same ground.

For Oakman Inns’ Founder and CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, this tournament underlines the ethos that drives so much of Oakman’s support for and engagement with their local communities. He believes that sport can play a life-changing part, at the grassroots level, in developing and helping young people enrich their lives through team games, fitness and fair play. Peter has played rugby for much of his life and was Head Coach, Director of Rugby and Chairman of Tring RFC. “The Oakman Cup, and, indeed, our various sports sponsorship’s, allow us to put something back into the clubs that we sponsor and the communities we all support and strive for.”

At this level the sport is non-contact, but the same elements of teamwork, confidence-building, taking part and, above all, having fun, are all very much in evidence.

To that end, kids awaiting their next match can play in a variety of energy-burning Inflatable obstacle courses and bouncy castles, whilst Oakman’s own Beech Hut mobile kitchen bar will be supplying burgers to all the players. 

The Gates open at 9am and the first games kick off at 10:30am.

Hannah Milton