The President of the RFU, Chris Kelly, found time in his extremely busy schedule to attend his first ever match at the Paddock, thanks to an invite from Sevenoaks RFC ever-present Robert Horner, once President of the RFU himself during the 2003/04 season. And he couldn’t have picked a better fixture – the match between 1st and 2nd in the London 1 South, Sevenoaks versus Medway. Kelly enjoyed the wonderful hospitality the club always put on and over 80 club members and guests were given a memorable speech after their lunch in the Clubhouse.
Sevenoaks Sports caught up with Kelly after the pulsating match and we asked him what he thought about his day in Sevenoaks, he responded: “This is a great club, it’s an impressive club! For a club like Sevenoaks, and indeed Medway too, to be putting out four senior teams against each other is marvellous.
“It was an outstanding game of rugby today, two very good teams with tremendous defences. It could have gone either way, but the long range kick for Sevenoaks probably won it in the end.”
Kelly had obviously done his homework on Sevenoaks as he added: “It reminds you that it is a community game, clubs are all about volunteers and rugby is all about friendship. Youngsters won’t play if people don’t give up their time, and the fact Sevenoaks has over 900 kids playing on a Sunday morning is testament to that.”
That Wales v England game
Talking openly, Kelly commented on England’s loss to Wales in Cardiff the previous week: ”With the Welsh team, they are great rivals in rugby, but as people, they’re mates. So we have to grin and bear it, if you lose you lose.
“The theatre in Cardiff is unique, I first went there in 1973 and you don’t win there very often. It means nothing losing the game though, in the sense that it doesn’t mean that Wales are better than us. In Cardiff, at a certain time and when you‘re not winning by much, chances are you’re going to lose and that’s what happened.
“I don’t write off Eddie [Jones] and the boys, I think they’ve got a good side and they’ll be there or thereabouts for the World Cup.”
Chris Kelly was talking to Steve Rowley, the Publishing Editor of Sevenoaks Sports.