Lewsey backs Millwall's pitch plan

PUBLISHED: 12:06 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:59 05 October 2010

England rugby legend Josh Lewsey has thrown his support behind Millwall Rugby Club's bid to open Millwall Park for rugby teams of all ages

England rugby legend Josh Lewsey has thrown his support behind Millwall Rugby Club's bid to open Millwall Park for rugby teams of all ages.

Millwall's men's and women's teams are currently unable to play on the club's home pitch and have to travel several miles and outside the borough to play their home matches at Victoria Park and Hackney Marshes.

But World Cup winner Lewsey, who took charge of a coaching session for club's Under-9s team on Sunday, believes the facilities on the Isle of Dogs should be made available to all age-groups.

He said: "I would be delighted to see these facilities made available for all ages to use within the local area. Millwall's enthusiasm and desire is what makes rugby clubs a core part of their community.

"From the mums and dads serving food and working behind the bar to the volunteer coaches, they all help instill discipline, respect, teamwork and a sense of belonging that make rugby a special sport."

Millwall is the only rugby club in Tower Hamlets and club officials are now calling on council bosses to allow all teams to make use of the facilities at Millwall Park.

Club captain James Eason said: "If we were able to play here, we're sure there would be a much larger take-up of rugby in Tower Hamlets because we would have a much more visible presence in the borough."

After inspecting the turf at the park, Lewsey gave a pre-match team talk to the club's Under-13 teams, who were playing their first competitive fixture.

Lewsey performed the pre-match coin toss and posed for photographs with the youngsters, many of whom are from the Josh Lewsey Rugby Academy, which is based in five East London primary shools.

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