A LUCTONIANS player who helped form the Honey Badgers rugby team says he had no idea they would be lining up in the final of the Secure Trading 24/Sevens.

Formed by Mat Hackley, the team is made up of players mostly from a farming background and were the underdogs heading into the tournament.

But after impressing in the group stages, the Honey Badgers showed their mettle and dumped out the much-fancied Blue Bulldogs before falling just short in the final against Ilkley.

But Hackley, 26, could not have been happier with the way his side had performed throughout the competition organised by the RFU.

The skipper said: “We weren’t expecting to be here when we first started playing the regionals.

“We started about three years ago, we all have a farming background.

"When we saw a few local tournaments we wanted to give them a go and now here we are.

“There’s quite a few us from that original team.

"To be in the final two from 700 or so teams that competed is really special.

“We just came here to enjoy it and soak up the atmosphere and have a good day.

“We took it up to have something to do in the summer, we are all 15s players and we wanted to keep ourselves busy.

“Usually it’s just three or four tournaments but now here we are.

"We have to pinch ourselves a bit I think.

“We’re over the moon to be fair, it’s further than we thought we’d get.”

And after reaching the final, Hackley is hoping his side to push on following their unlikely success.

He said: “It has been an incredible tournament for us, the boys have put in an incredible shift to knock out some of the big names in the tournament.

"Maybe we were slightly underestimated, but we thrived off that.

“The unity we have in this side makes us really special, we are all just really good mates playing for the enjoyment of the sport.”

  • Secure Trading 24/Sevens is an exciting grassroots sevens competition run by England Rugby.

For more information on the Secure Trading 24/Sevens series and ways to get involved in rugby sevens, go to www.englandrugby.com/sevens/