OVER 1,500 aspiring young rugby stars took to the pitch at Braywick Park for the 2017 Maidenhead Mini Rugby Festival.

Twelve clubs and 133 teams from the surrounding area put forward Under-7 - Under-12 teams to compete in a mixed ability Mini Rugby Festival on Sunday.

The festival, which has been running annually in Maidenhead for many years, is one of the highlights of the season, not only for the players but also the coaches, managers and parents.

Stephen Bough, Chairman of Maidenhead Rugby Football Club, said: “Rugby is a fantastic sport for children to play and we hope to inspire them at a young age to play at the highest level.

“The festival is a great way for different clubs to come together and introduce the young players to match rugby games.

“Our own club has produced the likes of the England international rugby union and Wasps’ star James Haskell and former Scottish international rugby union player Thom Evans.”

Formed in 1922, the first team from Maidenhead was recently promoted into the national league, while the mini rugby section is one of the largest in the area.

Redrow Homes, which is building new homes at The Loftings in Maidenhead, was one of two headline sponsors of the event.

Carl Sharman, Redrow Homes’ Special Projects Director at The Loftings, said: “It was fantastic to see so many young players getting involved with the tournament, and it was a pleasure to be able to support it.

“I would like to congratulate everyone who took part and to Maidenhead for putting on such a fantastic day.”

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