THE head coach of a junior rugby club is appealing for more children to try the sport after seeing numbers fall at his age group.

Craig Gardner is in charge of Bromyard Under-12s, need 12 regular players in order to compete in matches.

Sometimes, Gardner says, the team have to rely on borrowing players from other sides.

"So many parents unfortunately still think that rugby is an undisciplined sport that pays casual and scant regard to children’s safety – nothing could be further from the truth ," said Gardner.

"Every Sunday we have over 175 children from under 7 up to the age of under 17 playing junior rugby but always want to offer more children the opportunity to experience the sport and the very positive benefits it provides.

"Rugby is a wonderful sport for children of all ages and helps to develop and enhance essential life skills such as teamwork, problem solving and strategy.

"It is also good for improving fine motor skills such as eye to hand coordination, catching, passing and of course keeping children fit.

"Discipline is also a cornerstone and is inherent in every aspect of the game.

"It is also a very affordable sport at Bromyard with a year’s membership costing only £30 per child.

"At Bromyard, we focus on the core rugby values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment and discipline and enjoy the culture that they create for players, families and spectators.

"Children flourish in the environment and in the under 12’s we don’t stream children and mix all abilities and skills together with the aim of enjoyment and improvement for all.

The children who play for the under 12s all go to local schools and have been playing for Bromyard since they first picked up a rugby ball over five years ago.

"Each year the entire club including parents and carers go on tour to the West Cost Rugby Festival in North Devon where over 2,000 children play rugby across the May Day weekend.

"Winning isn’t the most important aspect of the junior game but it’s fantastic when it happens and the under 12s came home unbeaten in their age group after playing six thrilling matches."

For more information, call Craig Gardner on 07766 226662 or visit the club on a Sunday morning.