Rugby legends visit Dungannon RFC as part of Vodafone’s Lions Legacy Tour

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Dungannon RFC

British & Irish Lion legends and former Dungannon RFC players Stephen Ferris and Tyrone Howe visited their former club for the first time in over 20 years in support of Vodafone’s Lions Legacy Tour.

Ferris and Howe were joined by current Irish rugby union player, Gill Bourke and The Good, The Bad & The Rugby’s James Haskell, Mike Tindall and Alex Payne and over 1,000 people from the local community for a day of pitch side fun and festivities, all helping to raise an impressive £12,500 for the Ulster club.

These funds, along with technology solutions and digital learning tools provided by Vodafone, will help the club run more efficiently and become financially sustainable.

The highlight of the day was a 24-7 victory for Dungannon Women over Lisburn, with Loughborough Lightning star Bourke leading the warm-up and Haskell and Payne commenting live throughout the match.

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The win was the perfect way to celebrate Dungannon’s appointment of their first female chair, Cheryl Wilson. Vodafone also donated Dungannon’s first ever captain’s board for the women’s team, which will be hung in the clubhouse alongside the men’s.

Colleen McCance, who played at No.8 for Dungannon Women, said of Gill’s impact on the warm-up: “Gill showed us some things that we’ve been trying to instil in our own game for a while, but some of the tricks she showed us were just a different calibre.

“We’re all very competitive, but she showed us how to bring some of the fun into it as well which helped relax the girls and was exactly what we needed. Having someone like that to look up to is fantastic, it really made our day and will have a huge impact on our game moving forwards.”

Mike Tindall

There was also excitement for the men’s team, as 2003 World Cup winner Mike Tindall pulled on the Dungannon jersey to join them for the match against Omagh. The friendly ended in defeat for the home side, but it was a moment none of the players will forget.

Cheryl Wilson, Dungannon RFC’s Chair Person for Rugby, said: “It was fantastic to see the club full of buzz – you could sense a new wave of energy and hope flood the clubhouse. We cannot wait to take all this energy, what we’ve learnt and the money we’ve raised and push our club to fulfil its potential.”

Dungannon RFC volunteers also attended digital workshops, designed to improve digital skills and allow the club to build a stronger online presence, driving awareness and growing its supporter base to help maintain long-term sustainability.

The Good, The Bad & The Rugby podcast

The day’s events were concluded by a live podcast recording of The Good, The Bad & The Rugby inside the clubhouse, guest starring Tyrone, Gill and Cheryl. Along with current rugby affairs, injuries and the day’s antics, the panel talked to the importance of grassroots rugby and how clubs can take themselves to the next level.

To further support grassroots rugby, Vodafone is developing a bespoke business resource for all community clubs across the UK and Ireland. The toolkit will be available via V-Hub, Vodafone’s platform for helping small businesses develop their digital capabilities as they get back on their feet following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Launching in Spring 2022, it will offer essential tips and guidance to help clubs develop new skills and expertise within digital marketing, content strategies and social media amplification.

The next stop for Vodafone’s Lions Legacy Tour will be Aberdare RFC on Saturday 15 January. For more information visit Aberdare RFC’s social media channels.

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