ENGLAND and British Lions hooker Mark Regan was the guest speaker at the final Centenary Luncheon for former players at Huddersfield Rugby Union Club.
And as well as a time for ex-players from the turn of the millennium up to present day to renew old acquaintances, it was also a chance for Centenary president Mark Birch to proudly show off the plaque presented to him on behalf of the club from the National RFU president John Owen during the Six Nations International at Twickenham.
In what will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of his Centenary year in office, Birch was invited to rugby union headquarters at Twickenham, where he and his wife Joanna were wined and dined ahead of England’s Six Nations clash with Wales.
“It was absolutely brilliant from start to finish, and we were looked after wonderfully,” admitted Birch.
“Along with the president’s from seven other clubs who were also celebrating their Centenary this year, we were invited to dine into the Spirit of Rugby restaurant and had access to the members’ bar in the West Stand.
“And after lunch we were guided into the stand and sat just three rows behind the coaches, Martin Johnson and Wales’ Warren Gatland. And then just before half-time we were ushered down to the players tunnel and as the players came off we were escorted onto the field where we were presented with the Twickenham Centenary plaque by the RFU president John Owen before returning to our seats in the stand.
“After the game (which was all the better for winning) we were back in the members bar where we met some of England past players Jason Leonard and Richard Hill, while some of the current first team squad Mark Cueto, Dylan Hartley and Paul Hodgson came in later to circulate and talk to people.
“So all in all it was a fantastic day, and I just felt so proud to represent the Huddersfield club and the town.”
Huddersfield’s Centenary events continue on Friday week (March 5) when legendary Welsh fly-half Phil Bennett is the principal guest at the Centenary Annual Dinner, along with RFU president John Owen.
There is a Ladies Day Luncheon planned for March 27, the Players Presentation evening on April 27, and the Year culminated on May 29 with a Centenary May Ball, which will be staged in a marquee on the first team pitch.