Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Scrummy brunch

RUGBY and rowing came together at Henley Royal Regatta as international players turned out in force.

RUGBY and rowing came together at Henley Royal Regatta as international players turned out in force.

England captain Chris Robshaw was joined by former Lions player Rob Henderson and Scotland lock Jim Hamilton as they watched the British and Irish Lions beat Australia 41-16 in the final test match on July 6.

They were guests at a charity brunch for 165 people held at the JuJu hospitality enclosure at Upper Thames Rowing Club and took part in a talk-in session before and after the game.

The event, which was organised by England 7s rugby player Ollie Phillips, who has a house in Fair Mile, raised £16,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society.There was also a champagne breakfast, silent auction compered by ITV presenter Zoe Hardman and a DJ set by Seb Fontaine.

Mr Phillips, 30, said it was an “unbelieveable” day that was blessed by scorching weather.

He said: “So many people turned up and we all had a cracking time. The fact that the Lions won obviously helped.”

Mr Phillips organised the event in memory of his grandmother Audrey Skinner, who died in January, aged 87, following a battle with dementia. He said: “She was a social animal and loved a party so she would have loved the fact everyone was there and having a great time in her memory.”

Further down the river, England stars Stephen Myer, Dylan Hartley and Lee Dickson were part of a group that watched the Lions match at The Redgrave Bar.

They then celebrated the victory with lunch by Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts in the courtyard enclosure.

Devinia Hudson, head of events for the Copas Partnership, which owns the site, said: “It was really great to welcome the England players down on what was a fantastic weekend for sport.

“There were about 600 people in the courtyard enclosure and they were just part of the festivities that day.”

About 30 members of the Henley Hawks squad were at the Barn Bar and Redgrave Bar to introduce new players to Henley and the regatta.

Manager Nigel Dudding said: “We watched a bit of the racing and did a lot of chatting. We had half a dozen new players and introduced them to Henley life and the river. Everyone got to know each other pretty quickly.

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