It has been 20 years since the gay rugby movement was formed when 6 gay rugby players met in a pub in Kings Cross, London to form the Kings Cross Steelers, the world’s first gay-friendly rugby team, on 1 November 1995. To mark the occasion Leeds Hornets RFC & Yarnbury RFC will make history by hosting the first rugby match in Yorkshire between two gay-friendly teams.
On 28 November the Newcastle Ravens and Northampton Outlaws will meet in Leeds at Yarnbury RFC.
Phil Stewart, founder of Leeds Hornets RFC said, “I can’t think of a more appropriate way to mark the anniversary here in Yorkshire by inviting two of our nearest teams to join us for a friendly match
“It provides us with an opportunity to showcase inclusive rugby here in Yorkshire and to recruit for our team.
Stewart Continues, “I hope both the rugby and gay communities will turn out in force to support this initiative on 28 November. It represents another milestone in a movement which continues to grow exponentially. It provides us with an opportunity to recruit also, and anyone interested in playing should talk to us afterwards in the club house to find out more about playing rugby.”
Yarnbury RFC’s motto is “Omenus Adferamus” which is Latin for “let everyone contribute” and this inclusive ethos makes them the ideal hosts.
Yarnbury RFC secretary said, “Yarnbury are proud to be hosts for the first rugby match to be played in Yorkshire between two gay-friendly teams, the Newcastle Ravens & Northampton Outlaws. Yarnbury has always prided itself on being open to players of all ages, ethnicity and orientation and ability. We believe in full integration on and off the field and welcome the enthusiastic efforts of Phil Stewart in promoting rugby within the gay community.”
The Newcastle Ravens are looking forward to the match. Now in their tenth year, Ravens chairman, Derek Wilson said of the match, “It is with great delight we are heading to Leeds to take on our friends Northampton Outlaws in a friendly game to increase participation from the gay community in rugby and with Leeds Hornets RFC.”
“Being part of an amazing team and family is one of the gifts rugby can give you. The growth of inclusive teams shows there is a real need to provide a welcoming environment to all, including those new and inexperienced or those who previously felt that they would not be welcome. Northampton Outlaws are proud to support Leeds Hornets RFC in their efforts to bring new players into the great team sport of rugby.” said John McIntyre, chairman of Northampton Outlaws.
Leeds Hornets is Yorkshire’s gay-friendly rugby team and trains Tuesdays & Thursdays at Yarnbury RFC, Horsforth (opposite Trinity University). The first rugby match between gay friendly teams takes place on 28 November 2015 at Yarnbury RFC. Kick off is 2pm.