COLCHESTER Rugby Club want to make sure potential players don’t miss out on the chance to play for their local club.

Chairman Karl O’Brien said the club is working hard to ensure people already living in Colchester or those who may have moved to the area know about the playing opportunities across all levels and age groups.

He said: “There has been a lot of talk about rugby clubs being on the ball following the Lions’ success and ahead of the World Cup in 2015, and we are looking to build on that.

“Colchester is a town that is expanding quickly and we want to make sure we are capturing people from all walks of life from the age of five upwards.”

O’Brien said the Colne Community College’s Rugby Academy programme would be based at Mill Road two days a week this year, and that work is under way to forge closer links between the club and Essex University.

He said: “We want to ensure our door is open to everyone and anyone.

“It may be someone who hasn’t played for a while and fancies being involved with the fourth team, an older person who would like to play in the vets team, or maybe someone who might not have considered it in the past, but is capable of stepping into the first team.

“We are just trying to make sure the whole community is involved and our sponsors are an important part of what we are trying to achieve.”

O’Brien said the Mill Road club had been boosted with the involvement of new main sponsor Whitehall Resources.

The Colchester-based IT recruitment specialist has stepped in with a new three-year deal as main first-team sponsors, alongside associate first XV sponsors and other well-known Colchester-based companies Arc Legal Assistance, Collier & Catchpole and Hamilton’s Fitness.

The Colchester chairman added: “Playing subscriptions from across all the age groups from the minis upwards only make up 34 per cent of our revenue, so the rest has to come from somewhere.

“We have things like bar takings during the season, but it shows how important our sponsors are to helping us achieve what we want to do with opening up the club to more people.”

Anyone interested in playing or getting involved with Colchester Rugby Club can call them on 07990 526322.