Local bragging rights up for grabs as Holt prepare to host the Norfolk Big Rugby Weekend

North Walsham won the Norfolk Senior Cup last season after a 40-0 win over Diss at Crusaders. Photo:

North Walsham won the Norfolk Senior Cup last season after a 40-0 win over Diss at Crusaders. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

The local rugby community will converge on Holt RFC this weekend as Bridge Road hosts the Norfolk Big Rugby Weekend.

Norfolk RFU's inaugural event proved hugely successful when it was held at Crusaders last year and the event has expanded this season.

Saturday will see a feast of rugby featuring six county finals and a festival feel provided by a beer tent and a Prosecco bar. Then on Sunday the Broadland Business Park youth finals are being held, featuring another six county finals.

North Walsham and Diss will again contest the Senior Cup final, as they have done on so many occasions in recent years. The Vikings have lifted the trophy in each of the past three seasons and enjoyed a 40-0 romp in the spring sunshine at Beckhithe last season.

It looks set to be a much closer battle this time though, with Walsham finishing fourth in London One North in a positive first season under the guidance of James Brooks and Diss set to rejoin their rivals at that level after a dominant title success in London 2NE – winning their last 14 league games and not tasting defeat since October.

Diss completed their league fixtures on April 8 and Walsham on April 22 so both squads have had plenty of time to prepare for the encounter, which is scheduled for a 3.30pm kick-off.


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The Junior Cup final could also be a cracker as it pits holders Thetford, on a high after winning the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties One title, against Wymondham, the team they beat to the crown by 11 points.

'We're absolutely ecstatic to be hosting the event,' Holt chairman Ben Jones said. 'We're more than up for the challenge, we've run festivals before, we have two Kingswood Festivals every year with over 1,000 kids, so we've got the pedigree.

'This is the first time Norfolk RFU have combined the senior and junior finals, last year the seniors were at Crusaders and they handled it very well. We're hoping for over 3,000 people over the course of the weekend.

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'I would like to thank all our committee and all the volunteers who have put in a tremendous amount of time for this event.'

Highlights of Sunday's youth finals will be screened on Mustard TV, on freeview channel seven, at 8.30pm on Wednesday.

SCHEDULE

Saturday

9am – Gates open

10am – Norfolk Touch Cup semi-finals

11am – IB Welding Repairs Norfolk Bowl final, North Walsham ll v Wymondham ll

11am – Optima Stainless Steel Norfolk Salver final, Diss III v West Norfolk III

12.45pm – Acorn Seeds Norfolk Touch Cup final

12.45pm – Swift Air Ventilation Norfolk Plate final, Crusaders v Fakenham

1.40pm – Constitution Motors Norfolk Cup final, Thetford v Wymondham

3.30pm – R&L Engineering Norfolk Senior Cup final, North Walsham v Diss

Sunday – Broadland Business Park Norfolk youth finals

10am – Gates open

11.30am, 12.45pm and 2.15pm – Two finals start at each scheduled kick-off time

Free car parking at Holt RFC, £5 entry for adults, free for under-16s, free face painting and free bouncy castle to keep younger children entertained, no dogs allowed.

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