MAKING rugby as popular as football in Boston, that is Sean Hughes’ mission.
Hughes took up the role of Boston Rugby Club’s schools’ coach in the summer.
His main aim is to bolster the ranks of the mini and junior sections at the club, introducing more youngsters to the sport in a bid to bring more players through the ranks.
But to do that, he knows he has to turn more youngsters’ heads away from football.
“Boston has a large football profile and one of my aims is to get rugby up there as well,” he said.
“Boston has a great example of a football club, but we also have a great example of a rugby club.
“Schools have bitten my hand off when I’ve contacted them about coaching in schools.;
“That’s a positive as it gives us the chance to take the game to more people and hopefully get them interested in joining the club.”
Hughes is a product of the Saracens’ youth teams and has also represented Hertfordshire at county level.
On Saturday afternoons he is Boston’s number eight. On Sunday mornings the sport science and coaching graduate is working with the town’s rugby-mad youngsters at the club.
“I’ll be working with the minis, junior and 16-plus players,” he added.
“It’s important to be involved with all age groups as we are a club together. We want to encourage the younger players to want to stay here and progress into the first team.
Adding his support to the youth section is first XV player-coach Willem Jonker, who has also pledged to be a regular observer of youth training.
He added: “That is Sean’s thing. But I want to be involved coaching and helping the young players when I can.”
A southern hemisphere native, Jonker also has strong views on the ways to bring the best out in young players.
He added: “In South Africa we start looking at players when they are about seven, getting them to play at a competitive level in schools.
“We try to give them the best possible coaching at a young age and begin looking whether they are good enough to play in the top division or even for their country.
“I think we should try to do the same in England.”
l AFTER a game-less weekend, Boston Firsts - top of the Midlands 5 East (north) - entertain Lincoln Thirds in a friendly match (KO 3pm), prior to resuming league action a week later, when they play third-place Keyworth.
l THE Development Team travel to play Lincoln Fourths.
BOSTON under nines travelled to Wisbech to play games against the host club and St Ives.
Against a well-drilled Wisbech side, Boston lost the first game 4-3 (tries from Welberry (two) and Sykes), but gained their revenge in the second game, winning 4-2 (Bray (two), Welberry, Loveley).
Boston then showed their superiority against a weaker St Ives team, comfortably winning 5-0 (Loveley (two), Craven, Bray, Baker.
BOSTON’S under sevens and eights’ combined side, also travelled to face Wisbech and St Ives.
In the first game, a team of six players trailed 1-3 to Wisbech eights at half time, until reinforcements arrived, eventually going down 6-4 (Willis (two), Vickers (two)).
Game two saw Boston defeat Wisbech sevens (Willis (three), Roberts (two), Douglass, Young and Turner).
Against St Ives sevens, Boston lost out 5-1 (Willis).
l THE Boston under sevens and eights are looking for new players. Children in school years one, two or three are welcome.