Heath’s Jamie Diggle played for Sussex against Oxfordshire at Twickenham on Sunday in a tight match played before England kicked off against the Barbarians.
Harlequins professional and former Heath youth player Ross Chisholm has been lead coach for Sussex over the last couple of months and enjoyed the opportunity to work with a senior side selected from rugby clubs across the county.
After a competitive and entertaining match for the neutral, the final score was 29 all but sadly, unlike the premiership final on Saturday, there was no lifeline for Sussex and no extra time played instead Oxfordshire were awarded the win on the strength of having scored more tries in the match.
Commenting on the experience Ross Chisholm said: “It’s been great fun taking a group of senior players from across the Sussex Clubs and working together in a very short period of time to gel together as a team.
"We won a great match against Berkshire which gave us the privilege to play at Twickenham and although we were disappointed not to have won the match, I am very proud of the effort and commitment of the whole squad.”
Ross had help from fellow Harlequins professionals, his brother James Chisholm, Charlie Matthews and Matt Shields and also called on Matt Hawkes who he has worked with at Guildford RFC to help out with scrum half training for the Sussex team in the run up to Sunday’s match.
Ross added: “I would like to thank the coaching and support team and all the Sussex players in the squad that came to training and really applied themselves for the chance to represent their county at Twickenham. Playing for Heath from a very young age and then the opportunity to play for Sussex as a senior helped me develop as a player and it has been great to have this opportunity to give something back to grassroots rugby in the county."
Matt Hawkes now takes up his position as 1st XV coach at Haywards Heath RFC where pre-season training is starting on Thursday 8 June at 7pm followed by a BBQ at 9pm - all existing and new senior and Colts players are welcome at Whitemans Green. See hhrfc.co.uk for more information.